11 Jan 2015: He Said … She Said … I Said … You Said

As a writer, I think I’m always searching for another word to substitute for ‘said.’  He said, she said, sounds fine in an expression, but not when you’re writing a novel where you want the words like said to support the dialog, not distract from it.

When I write my first couple of drafts, I don’t stress too much about things like this.  I’m more of a get it all out in one big push and then polish it up later.  This is why so much of my craft as a writer is in the editing process.  But I often find myself sitting at my table, pondering which ‘said substitute’ would enhance the text best.

So I wonder … am I the only one who has this issue?  Probably not.   With that in mind, I started to compile the list below:

A few said substitutes:

Asked     Inquired     Answered     Replied     Confessed

Explained     Told     Retorted     Added

Remarked     Repeated     Suggested

Proclaimed     Promised     Informed     Insisted    Shot back

Murmured     Mumbled     Muttered     Whispered      Uttered

Agreed     Concurred

Begged     Pleaded

Wept     Wailed     Whined     Sobbed     Lamented     Whimpered

Demanded     Declared     Alleged

Yelled     Called     Screamed     Roared     Shouted      Shrieked

Swore     Thundered     Told Off

Choked Out     Blurted Out     Spat Out     Cried Out

Laughed     Squealed     Joked     Rejoiced     Teased

Grumbled     Moaned     Hissed      Complained

Taunted     Warned

Stammered     Stuttered

Announced     Proclaimed     Declared

Noted     Observed     Offered

Maybe it’s just how I talk, but I’ll also write things like:

“You don’t know what you’re doing,” she frowned as she menacingly wagged her finger in his direction.

Technically speaking, you can’t frown a word, but it’s implied that she said it with a frown.  The implication is strong enough that I think it’s a valid sentence.  With that in mind, you could also add things like smiled and smirked to the list as well as frowned.


Shortest College Paper

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