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Friday, January 9, 2015

He Said, She Said

Said: To express in words...

They say "said is dead", but I disagree. I'm don't understand why people hate the word so much. I do understand that it is a little boring and can be annoying if repetitive, but using ten different variations in one set of dialog can be just as annoying, if not distracting.

I love "said", it's practically the only dialog tag I use. There are moments when "yelled" or "whispered" are appropriate, I use them and I use them correctly.  The reason I love "said" is because it's basically a form of punctuation. It allows the reader to use their imagination. For me, I'm writing my best when I don't tell my reader, but instead, I show them. Instead of writing "Fuck you!" he screamed in frustration, try "Fuck you!" he said, balling his up his fists in frustration. I prefer to let my characters actions set the scene and not their dialog.

I never had a problem with people using any word but "said" until I read Fifty Shades of Grey. E.L. James' editor needs to be fired. She used the dialog tag "muttered" over 200 times in the first novel alone. Who knows how many times she used it in her other novels. The word distracted me. "Muttered" means: to utter words indistinctly or in a low tone, typically talking to oneself. In her book, her characters would have full conversations of muttering and murmuring. How did they even understand each other? I would have shaken Ana and told her to speak the fuck up!

Anyway... if you hate using the word "said", if you find it boring or whatever, I get it. I just ask that you don't turn another, more distracting word, into your "said". Also, if you feel like you dialog isn't flowing, go back to using "said" or use action in place of the dialog tag.

"Said" will never truly be dead!