Here’s an excellent discussion, via Chris the Story Reading Ape, of one of the simplest and most useful tools in a writer’s kit: using and abusing “said” and other dialogue tags. I also note that “said” can control rhythm, acting as a strong beat at the end of a scene sequence or before a break. Try it!
Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog
Dialogue tags – or speech tags – are what writers use to indicate which character is speaking.
Their function is, for the most part, mechanical.
This article is about how to use them effectively.