Young Writers Society

Home » Forums » Resources » Knowledge Base » Writing Tutorials

Bored of Said?

User avatar
3747 Reviews


Gender: Female
Points: 2312
Reviews: 3747
Sun Sep 02, 2007 5:13 am
View Likes
Snoink says...

When you write a story, one of the first things you want to do is to use a word other than "said." After all, said is a boring word. It is out of the way, gentle, and not really strong sounding either. While this makes it great for dialogue, sometimes it gets boring. Other times, your dialogue is so intense that a simple said just won't cut it. It helps the story become more powerful.

Or, it can make your story absolutely unbearable.

Some writers, especially inexperienced writers, decide to spurce up their writing by using other words for said... all the time. This gets annoying really quickly and tends to make the reader stop reading. Because of this, I usually recommend sticking with said. After all, you can never be too careful.

Then again, on the other hand, other verbs can really make the piece powerful. So... when should you use these verbs, and how much?

First of all, what you should look for is when you want to describe the voice when it cannot be easily described with an adverb. Look at this:

"I can't believe it," he said quietly.

"I can't believe it," he whispered.

When I say "said quietly" it seems to have a more disappointed feeling than the latter. The latter is almost excited.

The general rule is, if you don't hear it that way, don't use the verb however tempting it is.
Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." ~ Richard Bach

Moth and Myth <- My comic! :D

User avatar
79 Reviews

Gender: Male
Points: 5890
Reviews: 79
Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:11 pm
Cpt. Smurf says...

Well said!

The name Paolin springs to mind...:

"I'm sorry," apologized Brom.

There's always been a lot of tension between Lois and me, and it's not so much that I want to kill her, it's just, I want her to not be alive anymore.

~Stewie Griffin

User avatar
13 Reviews

Gender: Female
Points: 1890
Reviews: 13
Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:40 pm
starlight88 says...

Quite true.

User avatar

Gender: Female
Points: 890
Reviews: 4
Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:07 am
crazy_lil_blondie says...

I COMPLETELY agree. The only thing for me is when authors use said by itself, with nothing else to describe the emotion behind the words. And sometimes, I think that you need to use another word to add interest, otherwise you lose the reader in "said"s.
The last time somebody said, 'I find I can write much better with a word processor.', I replied, 'They used to say the same thing about drugs.'
- Roy Blount Jr.

User avatar
233 Reviews

Gender: Male
Points: 9739
Reviews: 233
Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:01 am
Chirantha says...

Yup,"Said really is a boring term as we come across it many times"

Most authors use many more words other than "Said"

"Well said" barked Ernie Macmillan "Personally,I think this is really important"

"Civilians behind the the yellow line" growled Holly

"This wine is poisened my lord" muttered Lyra

So personally I think using "Said" only when necessay will do good to the story.

Your tip was really helpful to me.

I thank you.

Random avatar

Gender: Male
Points: 690
Reviews: 1
Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:39 am
Zlarp says...

I love "said" and I'm proud to say I use it all the time. I try to get as many saids into my story as possible and use other words only if said really doesn't work. It's almost always enough, the emotions of the characters being carried by their demeanor or by their words.

"I'm here!" said Lucky. He waved at Betsy and smiled.


"I'm here!" Lucky said excitedly when Betsy came up the hill.


"I'm here!" Lucky blurted out as he saw Betsy arrive.

I like the first one a lot better than the others. It's simple, and simple is good.

It's a pity the dictionary has only one definition of beauty. In my world, there are 7.9 billion types of it- all different and still beautiful.
— anne27