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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Said is NOT Dead (#AuthorToolboxBlogHop)


"All that I ask is that you do as well as you can, and remember that, while to write adverbs is human, to write he said or she said is divine." - Stephen King

The purpose of a dialog tag (according to me) is to help a reader determine when someone is speaking and who is speaking. As a story goes along and the reader gets to know your characters, dialog tags become less important. Why? Because readers can be lazy and tend to skim over things that seem unimportant. 

So, for something that most readers tend to ignore, why have writers started avoiding "said" like the plague?

I am not 100% sure why, but I have a feeling it has to do with English teachers trying to enhance their students' vocabularies. If you do a simple Google search for "said is dead" 100s, if not 1000s, of worksheets pull up with "said" substitutes. Some of the substitutes make sense and others make for immature or clumsy writing.

Substitutes That Make Sense 
  • Yelled
  • Mumbled
  • Stammered
  • Pleaded
  • Responded
Substitutes That Confuse Me
  • Laughed
  • Grinned
  • Bawled
  • Faltered
  • Breathed
For me, the ones that make sense work because they indicated how the sentence is being said (though this could also be done with appropriate context clues in the dialog and scene.) The ones that confuse me just don't make sense. "Hello," he grinned makes ZERO sense. Why? Because grinning isn't speaking. "Hello," he said with a grin on his face/ while grinning, makes more sense. Whenever I read a story full of awkward ways to say said, I end up falling out of the story and wind up distracted.

I also find myself distracted when a writer uses too many adverbs after said/dialog tag. He yelled loudly (the fact that he is yelling should be enough to indicate that he was being loud.) She said sadly (again, context clues within the scene and dialog should alert the reader to how things are being said while also allowing the reader to use their imagination.)

So, when should you use something other than said? When it is organic, natural, and most importantly, when you're not using the other word just to avoid using said. 

To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, click here.





Sunday, July 16, 2017

LIEBSTER NOMINATION!

Thank you Hoda for the Liebster nomination. Your blog is full of inspiration and amazing advice. I definitely recommend following her blog!!



The 11 questions from the nomination are:

  1. If you were stranded on an island, what three books would you want to have with you?: The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
  2. What’s your favourite food?: Popcorn
  3. You can have dinner with one person – dead or alive – who would you choose?: This is a hard one. Honestly, President Barack Obama. I have so much respect for him. He held his head high when so many tried to tear him down. I would love to have a beer with him and to talk to him.
  4. What’s your favourite travel destination and why?:  I love Table Rock Lake in Kimberling City, Missouri. It is a relaxing place that is far enough away from my home to be a get away but close enough for it to be a weekend trip. Table Rock Lake is a calm lake that is clean and family friendly. 
  5. If you could be best friends with any fictional character, who would it be?: Minerva McGonagall 
  6. Sweet or sour?: Sour
  7. Plotter or pantser?: Plotter with a hint of pantser.
  8. Give a tip for anyone struggling with writer’s block: Listen to music while taking a walk (make sure to take something to write down any ideas that come to you during the walk.)
  9. Give a tip for anyone thinking about starting a blog: Just do it. I promise it will be worth it. 
  10. What’s the best book you read in 2017?: The Black Witch by Laurie Forest
  11. What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2017?: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Now I’m going to pay it forward by nominating other bloggers for the Liebster Award.

Liebster Award Rules and Nominees:
Rule 1: Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
Rule 2: Answer the 11 questions the person asked you.
Rule 3: Nominate 5-11 people (comment on their blog to let them know)
Rule 4: Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions.
Below are my nominees and my questions.
  1. https://lyndseyhallblog.wordpress.com 
  2. http://www.lindseyfrydman.com/blog
  3. https://carolienacabada.com/blog/
  4. http://mcfrye.com
  5. http://www.thedabbler.ca

Questions:

  1. What is your favorite word and why?
  2. Where is your favorite place to read/write?
  3. If your blog had a playlist what song would it have to include?
  4. What is the next book you plan on buying?
  5. What is your favorite quote?
  6. If you could hang out with one author (dead or alive) who would it be?
  7. What inspired you to start writing?
  8. What would you choose for your last meal?
  9. If one author could critique and comment your writing, who would it be?
  10. What do you most admire about yourself?
  11. Where can your readers find you on social media?