Tag Archives: Speech Tags

Show vs Tell: Speech Verbs

Why are speech verbs any different from other verbs. You wouldn’t repeatedly use the same verb, so why are speech verbs different.


You wouldn’t write: He ran up the hill and ran over the top and ran down the other side. He ran across the valley floor and ran through the forest.

So why would you write.

“I raced up the hill,” he said.

“Over the top?” she said.

“Yes,” he said, “and then I sprinted across the valley.”

“I jogged through the forest,” she said.

“Did you?” he said.

“Yes,” said she.

Why? It’s bloody monotonous is what it is.

It’s all Show vs Tell. Using a verb like…oh I dunno…asked, whispered, grunted, is Telling not Showing. Well it is according to people who have lost their freaking minds.

PK’s Caveats: Caveat 1: I may not know what I’m blathering about. Caveat 2: There are no rules about writing, there are just things you can get terribly wrong. Caveat 3: If people apply the words never or always to storytelling techniques, ignore them.


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