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Sir Thomas Fein Sir Thomas Fein
A wealthy Englishman moves into a home on a secluded island. He begins being tormented by spirits, or is it his mind?
Said Is (Mostly) NOT Dead

Said Is (Mostly) NOT Dead

A Lesson by Haruwaht

Using effective dialogue words


* So, do you remember that one time in school when some teacher told you, "Said Is Dead"? I remember that. I was given a packet with alternative words to said. Well, sorry to break it to your teacher, but that's honestly not true.
1. Said is the simplest way to let your reader know a character has spoken in past tense. There's absolutely nothing wrong with using said.
2. I can pretty much guarantee, if you go to a bookstore, pick up a book by a popular author, and read their dialogue, they likely use said a few times.

* To counter that. Don't exclusively use said. You need to let readers know how a character is delivering information.
1. Was your character aggravated while speaking? Maybe they roared, screamed, yelled, shouted, or raved.
2. Maybe they were being very quiet? They could have whispered, mumbled, murmured, whipsered, or breathed.
3. Did your character laugh while they spoke? You can say they chortled, chuckled, tittered, giggled, or guffawed.
4. Could your character have been upset? Then maybe they sobbed, cried, whined, whimpered, or sniffled.
5. Be creative with how your character delivers information. A big part of the way we as humans understand each other's emotions is how we sound. A character should naturally use the same techniques.

* In the same instance. Sometimes dialogue words aren't needed at all.
1. If you have a lot of dialogue going between two characters, but not much action, there's a point where using dialogue words and names isn't necessary. 
2. It can be a bit tedious to read, and write, the person A said... person B said... person A said... etc. So, drop it out sometimes and see how it flows.

*Most importantly. See how it all works in your style.
1. The most important thing about writing is developing your own voice. The specific way you write and structure everything is just as important, if not more so, than using good techniques.
2. Not everything is going to seem right in your style. It's possible some words won't work in situations. Don't be afraid to try out something new and see how it works.
3. The way you write is your signature. Make sure you stand out.

Well, folks, I hope my tips make sense. Please let me know your thoughts and any critiques you may have for my lesson style. Good luck, and happy writing.

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Added on October 18, 2016
Last Updated on October 29, 2016

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Hi, I go by Haru, a pseudonym so far from my given name it's laughable. Nervous puppy of an individual, who accepts all pronouns, and collects hats. I'm a twenty-something-year-old who likes writ..