Because I’m confused. I am getting mixed messages about a tiny but important word: said. I even felt a little panicked about it at first.
I was taught in school to avoid too much “said”. But then again it was public school in Washington State, so the relevance to current thought is questionable.
Should we writers use “he/she/they said” after dialogue exclusively or should we find more interesting words. Who is right? What do you think?
These people think you need more interesting words:
- http://www.writingfix.com/PDFs/Writing_Tools/said_synonyms.pdf (this is a school material)
- http://year4atbearwood.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/synonyms-for-said-can-you-add-to-the-list/ (So is this. Are we teaching our kids to be poor writers?)
These people think that anything other than “said” or maybe “asked” detracts from the story, calling them “said bookisms,”
- http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SaidBookism (This one says it is “Purple Prose” and “Discredited Trope”)
“James Blish told me I had the worst case of “said bookism” (that is, using every word except said to indicate dialogue). He told me to limit the verbs to said, replied,asked, and answered and only when absolutely necessary.”
– Anne McCaffrey http://www.logicalcreativity.com/jon/quotes.html