Person 1: Yadayada
Person 2: Yahblooh
Person 1: Blosh!
Person 2: Bloshblosh.
"Yadayada," P1 said.
"Yablooh," P2 agreed.
"Bloshblosh," P2 added.
I think there are advantages and disadvantages to both. However, do the disadvantages to list-dialogue carry more weight than the advantages? Dialogue tags often add action and description that create the setting or introduce character traits about the two in the conversation. But if the setting and characters are already well established, or if the descriptions could be worked into the dialogue itself, would the list be more effective?
I found a short conversation in one of my old stories. Here it is in both formats.
And without tags:
“What is so urgent?” Henry asks, falling into step beside me. We enter the store, and cool AC washes over me.
“Ah…look at that bottle. Zombie repellant. Only one dollar,” I say unconvincingly.
“The only effective Zombie repellant is a large shotgun and quick feet,” Henry corrects, successfully distracted.
“The stuff here is weird,” I observe for probably the millionth time.
“And useless.” Henry bends over to examine the zombie repellant, and next to it, a crystal ball. “This isn’t even real crystal, or glass.”
“I think it’s supposed to be a snow globe.”
“No, it says crystal ball. Besides what use is a snow globe?”
“I’ll let you ponder that.” I move away and try to find Grandma. She finds me instead.
Henry: Oh no, this AC is freezing. I can feel my epidermis growing numb. Kristyn, what is so urgent?
Me: Ah…look at that bottle. Zombie repellant. Only one dollar.
Henry: The only effective Zombie repellant is a large shotgun and quick feet.
Me: Right. So apart from that, nothing urgent at all. The stuff here is weird.
Henry: And useless. This 'Crystal Ball' isn’t even real crystal, or glass.
Me: I think it’s supposed to be a snow globe.
Henry: No, it says crystal ball. Besides what use is a snow globe?
Me: I’ll let you ponder that.
So what do you think? Which works better for this conversation?