Dialogue tags receive a lot of approbation, almost as much as adverbs, and for similar reasons. Employed with skill and discretion, however, I assert that dialogue tags are a powerful and under-utilized tool for characterization, narration, and storytelling.
A recent Writing Excuses episode to which I listened discussed the ideas of disordered storytelling, and means of writing stories that are intended to be read in an order other than from the first page to the last page. Unfortunately, it didn't really dig into the topic the way I hoped it would engage with it.
This is your spoiler warning. If you haven't already read both parts of Blood and Dragons, I do not suggest that you read this post.
It might seem like an oversimplification, but it is very viable to divide a story into just three parts: beginning, middle, and end.
xpanding for the past few years, to the point where major authors from Gladwell to Sanderson are releasing some of their new pieces first as audiobooks, and only later sending them to print (if they send them to print at all). The way people are talking, this is a new thing, the next big thing to accompany the podcast moment.
With this review, I guess I'm writing about writing about writing. At least, I think that's the right number of layers. You know, I've never really had much in the way of formal writing education. I took a grand total of one creative writing course in high school, and I only took one English course of any kind in college. In my defense, my studies of astronautical engineering were somewhat time consuming. However, I've never done a lot of reading about writing, either, especially considering my penchant for teaching myself things by reading books on them.
No, it's not a magical fairyland. No pixie whispers into my brain what I should write next, what stories I ought to tell. Actually, I don't think that very many stories could come from a magical fairyland, if such a place existed. It would be too nice in such a magical place, and stories, at their heart, require a digression from the pleasant or the normal. Otherwise, there would be nothing worth reading, much less writing. Which is not to say that there couldn't be a magical fairyland in which things don't go beautifully, but let's leave that possibility be for the purposes of this discussion.