The first book in a series was recently recommended to me by a fan and, acting on their advice, I purchased it. I slogged my way through a dozen pages and put it down for good.
In the first eight pages (as counted on my Nook Tablet), the author used forty-two dialogue tags.
asked was used 10 times;
said was used 10 times;
murmured was used 3 times;
and the following were used one time each:
Sorry, but you cannot hiss, greet, snarl, or murmur a sentence. It can't be done. Every expert article I can find says that the use of these kinds of dialogue tags take the reader out of the story and break the flow of words.
99% of the time 'said' is the only tag needed. The human brain correctly interprets 'said' as punctuation, and doesn't waste time on it. In fact, it sort of disappears into the woodwork.
There are better and much less intrusive ways to get the emotion of the sentence across, so why do authors do it? More to the point, why do editors and publishers let them get away with it?
I ask you.