Learning to use tags that help the reader picture the scene and pointers to make the dialogue flow seamlessly is a must on the path to publishing.
A pointer is a statement in the sentence before dialogue that will prepare the reader for the next speaker. This is helpful when you have a group of people talking in one scene.
A tag tells the reader who is talking. It helps not to say “he said, she said” all the time. Tag with descriptions, action and feelings as much as possible. I call this a picture tag.
“I hope you aren’t talking to me.” Biff answered. (Tag)
“No, I’m not!” Tom gave Biff a dirty look (Tag without “said” words) Then tom heard the door open and looked up in time to see Sally bouncing down the steps. (Pointer )
“No, he’s talking to me.” Sally took Tom’s arm and they walked into the sunset.