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Discussion Starter #1
"Said" is dead! Use other words!



I'm so glad I found this chart, because I've been using boring old "said" this whole time when my characters could have been ejaculating and guffawing and chortling out words!

ETA: I'm posting this tongue-in-cheek.

1. I honestly don't mind a few barkeds and waileds. I do prefer they come BEFORE THE DIALOG so they're actually useful in helping you hear the dialog with the modifier. I feel like a lot of these are wasted when they come after the dialog's already been plopped out like a regular ol' said.

2. Some verbs on the list don't relate to sounds or speaking at all, and are not simply tacky, but incorrect.
 

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In all seriousness (WHAT?), I've started using beats a lot more than any dialogue tags, including "said" and "asked."

"You're crazy, Dalya." SM Reine picked up her cappuccino, pinky finger daintily curled, and took a sip.
Dalya slammed her fist on the table. "I'm crazy? I'm crazy? You're the one with a treadmill desk the size of a condor in your home office!"
That conversation would probably be much better if one of us was ejaculating, though.
 

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Heck, I don't use the word "ejaculated" even when writing about...

*Coughs* Let's just say that's an old-fashioned term and move on, shall we?

Where is "snarked"? That's one I'm pretty sure I've actually used, once or twice...

In all seriousness (WHAT?), I've started using beats a lot more than any dialogue tags, including "said" and "asked."
I think it's possible to overuse action tags, too. Using a combination of dialogue tags (mostly "said" or other invisible words), action tags, and no tags at all is still the best way to go, IMHO. But it varies from author to author and from genre to genre, too.
 

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smreine said:
That conversation would probably be much better if one of us was ejaculating, though.
"Only one of you?" he questioned, a disagreeable grin dividing his facial plane in twain. "Never forget," he added a thoughtful moment later, mildly bombastically, "the Golden Rule applies in love and in war and in all things in-between."
 

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Dalya said:
"Said" is dead! Use other words!



I'm so glad I found this chart, because I've been using boring old "said" this whole time when my characters could have been ejaculating and guffawing and chortling out words!
Hmmm, use caution with some of these.

For example, don't use "giggled" -- that's actually incorrect as a dialogue modifier. A person cannot giggle something.

Incorrect usage:

"This is great," she giggled.

Correct usage:

"This is great!" She giggled.

The former is dialogue modifier, wrong. The latter is two different actions, which is fine.

Same goes for "beamed."

A person can beam. But a person cannot beam something such as dialogue (unless this is literal telepathy and you are writing specific SF. ;-)
 

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In my eighth-grade creative writing class, our teacher had us come up with zillions of alterna-words for "said."  We wrote them on pieces of paper and taped them up ALL OVER THE ROOM.  Whenever I contemplate using a different word now, I remember how tacky that room looked, and I stick with what works.  (Or I use beats, yeah.)
 

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MegHarris said:
I think it's possible to overuse action tags, too. Using a combination of dialogue tags (mostly "said" or other invisible words), action tags, and no tags at all is still the best way to go, IMHO. But it varies from author to author and from genre to genre, too.
Oh, yeah, I agree. But I think if you can tell who's speaking from context without dialogue tags, it's better to drop them about 90% of the time. It makes it easier to read the book out loud, anyway. Because that's everyone priority! Reading out loud!

I am guilty of using "whispered" and "muttered" waaaayyy too often, by the way.
 

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Way, way, way back, when I was a mere lad of 11 or so, we were given a few sheets fur our class writing of words to use instead of more common ones, one of those being said.

I'm lucky in that I jumped off the said bandwagon at a very young age and never really got back on.
 

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I wonder, if someone "gulps" a reply, or "groans," is that similar to burping out a word?  Cuz I'd like to see that.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Vera Nazarian said:
Hmmm, use caution with some of these.

For example, don't use "giggled" -- that's actually incorrect as a dialogue modifier. A person cannot giggle something.
Oh, yes, I post this tongue-in-cheek.

I was reading an e-rom series where people kept "gritting out" dialog. Oh, it made my eyerolling muscles so sore.
 

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smreine said:
In all seriousness (WHAT?), I've started using beats a lot more than any dialogue tags, including "said" and "asked."
I like using beats, too. It's an elegant solution when done right.

In practice I have to remind myself to avoid nodding, smiling, shaking. It's easy to start mentally screenwriting the scene, and next thing you know-- every damn character is smiling and nodding just to get a few lines out.
 

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I am guilty of using "whispered" and "muttered" waaaayyy too often, by the way.
Me too!

I was reading an e-rom series where people kept "gritting out" dialog. Oh, it made my eyerolling muscles so sore.
Also guilty of this one, very occasionally. No one's perfect. :)

I just read a novel by Suzanna Kearsley which repeatedly used "was her/his reply."
Hate that one. Sounds really awkward.
 

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Dalya said:
"Said" is dead! Use other words!



I'm so glad I found this chart, because I've been using boring old "said" this whole time when my characters could have been ejaculating and guffawing and chortling out words!
They left off "ejaculated". What's a saidism list without ejaculated??!!! :eek:
 

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Poor ejaculated.  Constantly misunderstood and sniggered over.

I go through a gammut of words, including a few, like queried, noted, commented, which aren't listed there.
 
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