"Said" is Dead
I recently saw a Facebook post that claimed “said is dead.” It went on to list all the other “better” options to use, along with the emotion that correlates to each word.
I do agree that sometimes yelled, demanded, or murmured are the best words for the job, showing how the dialogue is being said, especially if it’s difficult to show the emotion through the particular dialogue. However, most of the time, “said” is exactly what I want.
Said is dead, huh? Of course it is. That’s the whole point!
Readers barely even notice it. It serves its purpose of clarifying the speaker and then shuts up and stands in the corner like it’s supposed to. Dialogue tags remind the reader of the author’s presence, so when you have to use a tag, why not use the one that’s almost invisible?
Author-to-Author Tip from Author M.S. Kaye
M.S. Kaye has several published books under her black belt. A transplant from Ohio, she resides with her husband, Corey, in Jacksonville, Florida, where she tries not to melt in the sun. Find suspense and the unusual at www.BooksByMSK.com.
M.S. Kaye most recently released Kindling the Past, a romantic suspense, with Liquid Silver Books.
Kindle is fighting to survive on her own, to break free from her possessive and violent ex-boyfriend, not to let her best friend Anna know she’s in love with her husband. Most of all, she fights the visions she sees of the past—she doesn’t believe in that kind of stuff.
Then Anna is shot and killed.
In their grief, Kindle and Ty, Anna’s husband and Kindle’s Taekwondo instructor, grow closer. Although Kindle is careful never to let him too close, he helps her learn to accept her visions are real. Eventually, the truth about Anna’s death breaks through into Kindle’s visions, and she must find a way not to let it destroy her.