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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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Magebird 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 spat. 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 great 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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Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:10 am
tgham99 says...



I definitely don't think said is dead, but this may be because I work in the field of journalism and we're encouraged to use said rather than any fancy dialogue verbs like claims, shares, emphasizes, etc. I do think, though, that it's good to have some variety in terms of dialogue verbs; if there's a ton of dialogue on one particular page of a book or something, it would be nice to have words aside from just "said" in order to mix things up. I also think it's good to opt for some stronger words like "exclaims" or "yelled" to most accurately describe whatever feeling the speaker is expressing.
"Writing well means never having to say, 'I guess you had to be there.'" -- Jef Mallett

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Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:54 pm
Lia5Giba says...



Of course said isn't dead! I promise you, look at all of the books in your bookshelf right now. I guarantee said will be in there many times. It's easy in a pinch, it's easy to read over, and though it's not too expressive, it gets the job done. yes, you shouldn't use it over and over and over. But it's definitely fine to use, as long as it's not overused.
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Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:55 pm
LittleLee says...



I use said a lot.
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