We've had discussions already about whether or not adverbs should be used in dialogue tags
Example: "What are you talking about?" she asked angrily.
In my reading I came across a term I'd not heard before (but many of you may have). They're called Tom Swifties, named after the character from a series of children's books.
The idea behind a Tom Swifty is that the adverb ties in with the verb or noun of the dialogue and it can be considered a word game.
Examples: "I never did trust that buzz saw," Tom said offhandedly. "Where are my crutches?" Tom asked lamely. "Let's visit the tombs," Tom said cryptically.
While it might be fun to try to devise these for entertainment, there are many in the literary world that believe that any adverb should be eliminated from dialogue tags and that instead the prose should dictate the action, feeling, tone, etc.
Example: "What are you talking about?" she asked, narrowing her eyes as she glared at him.
Example: She narrowed her eyes as she glared at him. "What are you talking about?"
It may also be better or even necessary to rewrite your dialogue and use stronger words to convey the same meaning that the adverb would have described, as pointed out in this instructional video:
Post by angietrafford on Jun 8, 2016 10:18:16 GMT -6
I try not to use dialogue tags but it is something I still do quite a lot before the editing process. Mind you, I try not to use adverbs whenever I use a tag or even in general because there is normally a better way of saying it. I mean, "how very dare you?" He screamed angrily would be better written as, he stormed across the room to wave the piece of paper in her face. His face turned red and he was shaking as his voice rose to a dangerous level. "How very dare you?"