Dialogue tags

My husband was reading a book last night and remarked how much he liked stand-alone dialogue. No "he said," or "she tossed him a look," added onto the dialogue. Just a plain ole by-itself line of dialogue after line. I took slight umbrage, because I really like adding those little bits to give the reader a picture of how the speaker is acting, but I see his point. Elmer Leonard says tags are anathema, and while I respect the man as a writer, it just isn't my style. I read (or tried to) a book that was page after page of dialogue, with no quote marks so you never knew when the talking stopped and the exposition began, and gave up because I never knew who was saying what. I'd count 1) he said 2) she said in my head, and I'd have to go back three pages and start over on my counting mission. That one hit the trash basket right fast.

First person, present tense - it's becoming more the vogue, I think. I hear from people who say they hate it, and I admit to being disconcerted when I start reading a book with FP, PT, but the discomfort goes away after a bit. I've even tried writing that way, and while I like the immediacy of what's happening on the page, it does get awkward. At least for me. First person, past tense I had to learn by starting out with a few chapters converted from third to first, before I could begin in FP right off the bat. It's my comfort zone now, but it took a while.

As to tag lines, I'm not willing to give them up just yet. Maybe I'll try cutting out a few here and there and see how it feels when I re-read the page.