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Is Said... Dead?



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Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:04 pm
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Horisun says...



I don't know if this has been done before, or not, but what do you think, is said dead?
  





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Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:05 pm
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Horisun says...



I say no, said is not dead. It is a great word, as long as it's used at the right times. I think that said is actually a lot like punctuation, you don't notice it when it's there, but the moment it's gone, it's like your suddenly missing your hand.
  





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Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:11 pm
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Magestorrow says...



I definitely agree. :)

Said is a great starter for any sentence. Even when it's left on its own, it can still convey what a character is thinking/feeling about a situation.

I actually think Harry Potter - at least in one of the books - uses said as the main dialogue verb. I remember noticing it during one of my rereads and being shocked that such a popular series has such simple sentence grammar, but it really does work well for the story. <3
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Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:57 am
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AvantCoffee says...



Personally, I like to use said in moderation with other dialogue tags. I certainly don’t believe said is dead, since I find it can be the perfect tag at the right times when I’m not needing extra description and want something that disappears more. There are also some writers who refuse to use any other dialogue tag (for me that’s a little extreme, but each to their own)

My general priority goes:
1. No dialogue tag if it works without confusing which character is speaking, because dialogue tags in general can create clutter in places~
2. Dialogue tags other than said because I find they contribute accuracy to how something is said (“Get out,” he barked. vs. “Get out,” he said.) or lend themselves more to what’s happening in the context of the dialogue (“Almost there,” she huffed, climbing another stair. or any tags like replied, ordered, informed etc.)
3. Said when there’s already a lot going on in the place where the dialogue fits in or I want something low-key. Said can be really good when I don’t want anything getting in the way of an important/emotive scene.

Of course this isn’t a strict priority order; I’ll always judge for myself what will work best in a certain spot. It comes down to whether I’m getting across the right tone or not while having as little in the way as possible.

I know some people have issues with dialogue tags other than said for claims that it can distract from the story, however I’ve never experienced this myself (when it’s used well). For me tags other than said are generally no more distracting than any other kind of description, if not less so. I can actually find said more jarring/distracting when a character asks a question with that dialogue tag: “Are you coming over?” she said. <— makes my brain go wait-but-that-was-a-question-said-feels-wrong-here. idk this might just be me though haha

So yes, I agree that said is still alive and relevant/useful in its own way. ^^
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