I came across a Twitter post the other day, yesterday to be precise, and it made me think. The word ‘said’ can be overused in writing, so I try to use other ways to indicate who is speaking. Placing an action before or after dialogue is an easy way to avoid a repetitive dialogue tag.
Martin shook his head. “That doesn’t seem right.”
There are a lot of good words on that list, but I’ll have to disagree that all of them are a direct substitute for the word “said.” Oh, you want examples? Oh, I have examples.
- We walked along the moonlit forest path, hand in hand. “This is a lovely first date,” I yelled. We have not had another.
- “A moving tribute to the deceased,” the priest laughed. The congregation was appalled.
- She put down the fork and pushed back in her chair. “I’m full,” she asked.
- In a flawless speaking voice, he stammered, “And that my friends, is a rap.”
- “It’s a typical, He cried/She chuckled, situation.”
“I don’t know what that means,” I chattered.
“I’m just giving you examples,” he wailed.
“Whoa, no need for that,” I whispered.
He quoted, “Please speak up.”
- You get the drift … moving on.
And just for fun:
Leon Stevens is a multi-genre author, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry, Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions, Journeys, and a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories. His newest publications are the novella trilogy, The View from Here, which is a continuation of one of his short stories, and a new collection of poetry titled, A Wonder of Words.
My new book page: http://books.linesbyleon.com/
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