HomeWritersLiterary AgentsEditorsPublishersResourcesDiscussion
Forum Login | Join the discussion
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 38
  1. #1
    Aver0n 2o11
    Guest

    The good old "said"

    What happened to dialogue being reported with the humble old "said"? Even though I still sometimes see it being used in books, it's not the advice us novices are usually given. What we're usually told is that "said" is so bland and boring, we should avoid it like the plague & so we get creative saying he interjected, she inquired, he foretold, she expounded.

    I'm quite happy when reading a story to see a whole page of "said"s and some stories with exceedingly long dialogue do have "said"s going the whole way through (witness Harry Potter & his forever very long dialogues with Professor Dumbledore).

    So do you guys normally mind the humble "said"? Are you happy to live with it (in your own writing)? Or do you tend to avoid it like the plague?



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Rhinebeck, NY
    Posts
    4,623
    We talked about "said" in this thread last month:

    http://www.writers.net/forum/showthr...l+sins+writing

    That's where I misunderstood Zach's comment: I thought he was saying to avoid the word rather than to use it. So, yes, the "humble old said" is indeed encouraged. (I also posted some links to this effect.)

    As for "avoid it like the plague," I didn't know it was still around. But it is:

    http://www.wisegeek.com/does-plague-still-exist.htm

    *_*
    Last edited by Kitty Foyle; 07-06-2011 at 05:34 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    3,866
    What we're usually told is that "said" is so bland and boring, we should avoid it like the plague & so we get creative saying he interjected, she inquired, he foretold, she expounded.
    WHO says that? Certainly no one who knows what they're talking about.

  4. #4
    Shaun .
    Guest
    I love said! It's an invisible tag. I (try to) avoid everything else like the plague.

  5. #5
    Belinda T.
    Guest
    I've said this before and I'll say it again: listen to intuition.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Keith .'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    The latex sales division of Vandelay Industries
    Posts
    1,248
    Quote Originally Posted by Averon 2011 View Post
    we get creative saying he interjected, she inquired, he foretold, she expounded.
    Who in the world gave you this advice? Said is all but invisible and that's why we use it. Every time you use a five dollar word in place of said you remind the reader of the author's presence. You draw the reader out of the story and that's a big no-no.
    ________________________________________________

    People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent.
    - Bob Dylan

  7. #7
    Belinda T.
    Guest
    People here at WN have told this to newbies, Keith. I won't reveal their names but there are authors who've given others the advice that Averon's talking about.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Miranda Clementine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    847
    Weird... I too have always been told to use said and avoid everything else.

    I've also been told to avoid tags altogether. To fill it in with action instead. But then I read other books and they tag all over the place, with the exception of a two person, quick dialog, then they only tag here and there.
    Even those who make their living in dreamland must do their chores in the real world.
    -Scarlett Rice
    MC

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    3,866
    I've also been told to avoid tags altogether.
    I wouldn't limit them altogether. Sometimes they're needed. But keep them to a minimum.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Miranda Clementine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    847
    You're right, I didn't mean altogether, but to limit them. So it is advice I should still follow? That's good because I would have a lot of tagging to go back and do. (:
    Even those who make their living in dreamland must do their chores in the real world.
    -Scarlett Rice
    MC

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts