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Add a little stage direction. "We read the letter." She had the grace to look a little shamefaced. "Apologies. Standard procedure." He nodded, even if his heart hurt a little to think the cops had read Tom's note. "Nothing inside suggests you're to blame. In fact, Tom didn't leave a reason."


Do not use the second form in narrative prose; it reads like a script. The first version is fine. You do not need to write "said" repeatedly. For example, in the second sentence of the first version you can write: I comforted him, "All I care for is you. I can't leave you here alone! Never!" The use of "however" in this sentence is weak and ...


Like "what" said, custom dictates separate paragraphs when speakers change while using the first form. It's also been pointed out that the two forms are context sensitive. Is it a script or a dialog in a story? But I'd like to point out something interesting. In the second form, we know Isaac is angry, and we know you are trying to help. So telling the ...

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