Okay, you're probably all sick of hearing it, but I'm tired of reading it. The overuse of dialogue tags really slows down the novel.
Every time a character's POV is interrupted with dial tags, it pulls the reader out of the character's head. And you want your reader to stay firmly entrenched in your characters' heads, right?
If we all know that, then why are so many submissions still bogged down with:
He said, he growled, he barked, snapped, interjected?
She asked, she purred, she whispered, cooed, queried?
Yes, there's a place for them, particularly when you have more than two people talking at the same time, or when you have two of the same gender. It can get confusing without them, but to simply add tags with every single line of dialogue, is asking a lot of the reader. It also tells the agent/editor that you are having trouble putting in appropriate action. Let's look at a couple examples, and I won't even touch the barking, growling and cooing which sends me over the top. Dogs, wolves, and pigeons bark, growl, and coo, not humans.
Jacob said, "I'm really thirsty. Could I have a cup of that coffee?"
Cara answered, "Of course, you can. I think I'll have a cup myself."
He took the cup and murmured, "Thanks. I was about to doze off. How'd you guess I like cream and plenty of sugar?" Now, he was flirting, wasn't he?
Jacob licked his lips. "I'm really thirty. Could I have a cup of that coffee?" His drooping eyes no doubt gave away the fact he hadn't slept well. The coffee would give him a boost.
Cara smiled. "Of course, you can." She reached for two cups. "I think I'll have another cup myself." As she added cream and sugar, her gaze barely strayed from his lips. Was she flirting with him or simply a very friendly person?"
His hand settled around the mug. "Thanks. I was about to doze off. How'd you guess I like cream and plenty of sugar?" Now, he was flirting, wasn't he?
Okay, it won't win any prizes, but you get the idea...
It's not hard to supplement your dialogue with good action which adds so much rather than tired old tags can offer.
Give it a try. Take a page of tired tags and give it a makeover!