Why didn’t anyone make this sooner? I hate when people only use the word “said” in stories.
BLESS YOUR COW
BLESS THIS POST.
CAN I MARRY A POST?
CAN I MARRY YOUR COW?
Nope. Sorry guys, but nope. Synonyms are great and all, but there are, like, two golden rules of writing:
1. Never reach for a thesaurus when you absolutely do not have to. Just because a word has a similar meaning does NOT mean it works in the context of your sentence, and it will look awkwardly inserted.
2. Use “said” in stories.
These are probably the most important lessons I ever learned re: writing. Save your descriptions for when they really matter. Make them have impact. A dialogue flows through “saids,” but nothing is more halting than repeated synonyms for the word, ESPECIALLY IF THEY FOLLOW ONE ANOTHER.
“I love you,” said Princess Leia.
“I know,” said Han Solo.
Simple, sweet, effective, the most perfect scene of perfect affection of all time. Now, try to substitute “saids”:
“I love you,” exclaimed Princess Leia.
“I know,” condescended Han Solo.
“Too many freaking words,” remonstrated R2-D2.
I mean…no. Just no. Save these awesome synonyms for when you need to call them in, like ringers — when a character really has to laugh or stutter or suggest or growl. Make your words weapons, not interchangeable parts.
This list is super useful for when you need that one certain word, but what Ark said.
Wow thank you!
The post I was about to make existed already in the comments.
For goodness sake, use ‘said’. Synonyms mean you’re detracting from the dialogue. The scene itself should tell you just how the character is muttering/grumbling/whispering/ordering/saying it.
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