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Thread: "Said"

  1. #11

    Re: "Said"


    I just think you should write dialogue the way people actually talk, not in some stilted way. Given that, shouldn't your attribution be just as relaxed and authentic as the person speaking?

    If you write SAID SHE, your editor will laugh and change it. Guaranteed.


  2. #12

    Re: "Said"

    Okay, settle down everyone. I do use 'LadyVamp said' once in a while (diff. name, of course), but I never use 'said she' UNLESS I'm writing a spoof of a Jane Austen book or any of the books written near that time (it's quite common in them, or at least in the books I've read).
    Will, you made a good point. Some may disagree with it (including me), but you gave a good reason for your logic.

  3. #13

    Re: "Said"

    That's just them Ladywamp (too much testoterone)

    I've already had this discussion in another forum and while there are no rules per se, "Will said" flows better in any story. However, if you add a descriptive like

    "said the arrogant SOB, Will", then that flows just as well.

    (kidding Will, you aren't arrogant.)


  4. #14
    Robert Richards

    Re: "Said"

    from the perspective of a wannabe poet/wannabe fiction writer...
    If you stick to gramatical "rules", Will is right - and probaly most editors would look at it from this perspective, but I think that too many prose writers forget about the lyric quality of the language and the need to insert the constructs of music (from which I think our creativity flows) into their prose. Syntax need not be a fixed thing, but should be a toy with which we can play. Done properly, I think that the syntax can be manipulated in ways which enhance the language and can add new shades to the meaning. Beyond telling a story and developing plots/characters, should we not try to tickle the ear of our readers?

  5. #15

    Re: "Said"

    I think that's a really pretty, flowery way of saying it Robert. Not sure I understand you, but then again I never liked poetry. It seems to me that Will wasn't mentioning rules. We are talking about the word SAID here, not subject-verb agreement or iambic pentameter. I have to agree with Will and say that the reader's ear would think it funny to hear SAID SHE. Thus, SAID ROBERT might sound just as funny, rules or no rules.


  6. #16
    Richard Blank

    Re: "Said"

    Either way is acceptable. BUT, being a person who conforms to consistency, I use one or the other per manuscript. Keep it simple. You're not trying to confuse the reader. I prefer, like JK, "Either way is acceptable," LadyVamp said.

  7. #17

    Re: "Said"

    I personally dislike "said she," and always use "she said." I find "said she" affected and mannerly in the worst way. And was very surprised when my editor changed a few of my lovely "she said"s to "said she." I would've definitely agreed with Will on this, but there you go. (Of course, I changed them all back. Or so I say, anyway.)

  8. #18
    Keith Cronin

    Re: "Said"

    Said he and said she tend to look pretty silly. But when you use actual names for the characters in stead of pronouns, this usage stands out a lot less.

    I would not use said he or said she in my WIP. And I only use said John sparingly. For grins, I checked, and so far my main character (we'll call him John) has slightly over 200 lines of dialog attributed with John said, and only 17 attributed with said John.

    During my final revisions, I'll do a last check and make sure that any time I use said John, it's because I prefer it, as opposed to having written it by accident.


  9. #19

    Re: "Said"

    First of all, it doesn't matter. This is trivia.

    Even so, we all have little preferences and, for what it's worth, I use both, like Minnie, according to what sounds better for the sentence.

    I also have this belief that to end a sentence on a weak word is best avoided, and so I never end a dialogue line with "said", if I can help it.

    I would therefore say:

    "Hello," said John.

    rather than:

    "Hello," John said.

    I try not to end with a "he said" or a "she said", and usually there are ways of making it clear who's speaking without using them in that way. I'd do it if speech is resumed on the same line, however:

    "Hello," John said. "How are you?"

    Finally, where adverbs are involved, I like the adverb to come straight after the "said", as I think it best to place the adverb close to its verb, if possible.

    "Hello," John said loudly.

  10. #20

    Re: "Said"

    I think you meant trivial G. ;-) And I think I agree with you overall, it sounds dead to end a sentence with said. I rarely do that because I always have an action or emotion following the said.
    "he said through clenched teeth"
    Although you've opened up another can of worms with the adverb thing...(some people just hate those!) so I'm gonna sit back and enjoy. ;-)

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