My least favorite part of writing :[ I have been trying to research speech tag use but I can't find a page that answers all my questions. If you know of one, I'd love to see it. 1. What makes a speech tag a speech tag? Is it just that it directly follows dialogue, or does it have to have a speech-related verb in it like asked, said, repeated, etc.? The latter is how I have been using it but I am not sure. I have multiple lines in my story that skip the 'he said', 'she said' parts and move right along to what the character is doing while they are speaking. Example: "Yes, I guess that's right." He realized they had somehow changed directions. Is that correct? 2. Do you keep speech tags lowercase even if the dialogue ends with a question mark or exclamation points? When that same character picks up their dialogue, is it capitalized? Example: "Why me?" he asked, trying to close the door. "What if I don't want to go?" How about if the dialogue is broken up by action but doesn't end in a question mark or exclamation point? Example: "Sorry, I can't go," he said, searching for an excuse, "My cat needs to be fed." What if I don't put a speech tag between the broken-up dialogue, would it look like this: "Sorry, I can't go." He searched for an excuse. "My cat needs to be fed." And just to check, 'he paused' doesn't count as a speech tag, right?