There are many discussions on picking names, people seem to want clever names which I don't fully understand the concept, however nicknames I feel can be tailored to the character's personality. There are nicknames that parents give their children, generally based on a shorter version of their legal name and there are nicknames given to people based on their looks, actions, personality, etc. A great example of the second was the show "Lost" and Sawyer's tendency to use less than flattering names for his fellow plane crash survivors. So my question is how you use the character's name in dialog tags. Should you use the legal name or the nickname or is it okay to mix it up? I am reading "Destroyer Angel" by Nevada Barr and one of its prime characters goes by the nickname "The Dude" and sometimes that is used in the tag but sometimes the legal name Charles is used. The first time I noticed the Charles tag it threw me off a bit and I wondered if there was a particular type of influence Nevada Barr was expressing by doing this. Will some of the expertise in this forum explain nickname usage for dialog tags? Thanks.