This is a problem many writers, myself included, tend to struggle with, and that's focusing too much on the minutia of the language and worried that they aren't being creative enough with their vocabulary usage. There's a natural tendency to want to flair up a piece by scouring your thesaurus for a suitable synonym to avoid saying the same thing over and over.

The bottom line though, it doesn't really matter all that much. There are suitable timed where you want to provide proper context or emphasis in your writing where certain words are more appropriate. If someone is just speaking, 'he said' is perfectly acceptable, if they are asking a quest, 'he asked', if they are giving out facts or orders, 'he told'. We shouldn't be so hung up on this though. In dialogue writing there is often a great deal of back and forth between the actual dialogue and scene description of the characters/events/setting, so you often will feel obliged to reference every time someone is about to speak, if for no better reason than to clarify who is speaking. A lot of times this can be done purely contextual, you should ask yourself "Is there any confusion about who is speaking?" if not, then you can avoid setting up the dialogue at all, especially if the only break in the dialogue is to describe an action or a pause without switching to another speaker. If it ends in a question, it would be normal to assume the next spoken line would be by the one answering it.

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Said is a perfectly fine past-tense word and is fine for signalling who is speaking, you don't need to spice it up or change how who is saying what is being said because what truly matters to the reader isn't how varied your vocabulary is, but rather what is being said in the context of the story. Write in a way that makes the dialogue take center stage. Imagine you are writing a play, where the only non-dialogue text you write is what's necessary to convey the proper scene setting, you can of course add more flair to descriptions, but if it's not dialogue or description, then there's no need to worry about making your language more flowery for the sake of avoiding repetition, it only gets noticed if you call attention to it.

This of course doesn't apply solely to dialogue tags like 'said' but can be all manner of words you use. Things like obsessing over three sentences all starting with the same word for example might stick out in your mind, but is probably less notable in the reader's mind unless you just are a bad writer overall.

The main thing is, try not to obsess over re-using common every day words or where those words are re-used, focus instead on the context in your story, and let your editors worry about whether or not you used the right grammatical structure and tags.

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