Obviously you don't want to stick with "Cowboy said". That gets repetitive and boring quite fast. If it's a short piece of dialog exchange sometimes no indication of who said what is necessary. But for longer conversations you really need to indicate who is saying which line or it can become confusing, especially if there is more than one speaker. I think it's pretty much the same for first person or third person perspectives. Either way you need to indicate who is talking and I seem to get bogged down when I start writing dialog mulling over the best way to do that. Sometimes I just describe some action of the character speaking: "Why do you always get so defensive?" I took another sip of my lukewarm coffee while I waited for the usual evasive answer. Indicating of course it's our main character, first person. Or, John took another sip of lukewarm coffee as he waited, etc., if it's third person. But I find I'm making characters do stuff for no reason sometimes when they really just need to be talking. I"m just looking for some good tips for indicating who's speaking when you are writing dialog.