1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice
  1. JosephMarch

    JosephMarch Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    24

    A dream about writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JosephMarch, Apr 17, 2014.

    I had this dream last night. It was just about me, and I guess, all of YOU. I was reading a Stephen King book, not sure which. I kept noting his use of the word 'said'. I was delighted. And I thought to myself, it is okay, after all. If King uses the dreaded word, surely I can, once in a while.

    True (and very short) story, even if he doesn't really use it. I was humored to have a dream about writing and this forum.
     
  2. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,592
    Likes Received:
    4,469
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    I thought it was always OK to use 'said', the emotions being in the dialogue itself rather than the tag. eg:

    "I can't believe you," Carlos said.

    "I can't believe you," Carlos roared.

    At any rate, maybe you should take this as a cue to start writing? ;)
     
  3. thirdwind

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,378
    Likes Received:
    2,901
    Location:
    Boston
    Using "said" is preferred because it's pretty much invisible to the reader (because of how common it is).

    Try not to do what Rowling did in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:
     
    Lemex, xanadu, FrankieWuh and 2 others like this.
  4. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,592
    Likes Received:
    4,469
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    Exactly. We want to see the emotions in the dialogue and the way the characters move, rather than the tag.

    As an example, let's use the dialogue used by Ron in thirdwind's post. JK Rowling could've written it like so:

    "We're not going to use magic," Ron said in a loud voice, glowering at Harry.

    Simple, straight, and you can visualize the emotions.
     
  5. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    [​IMG]
     
    Link the Writer likes this.
  6. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    19,503
    Likes Received:
    10,790
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    I often dream that I'm eating. I'm a foodie. I also sometimes dream that I'm getting (or already am) high. I spent a couple of years as a pot-head. The latter dreams are pretty awesome because in the dream I actually am high, like my neuroreceptors remember what to do in my dream-state and cha-ching! Complete free, totally legal. I think of that as the Universe's version of philanthropy. ;)
     
  7. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    Now that I've stopped laughing.

    As thirdwind points out, said is what I like to call a 'workhorse' word in writing. It is invisible, it's all that's needed, it's often treat with disparagement by people they think they can be alright without him, but they aren't. They still need people to do the hard work, and said is all too happy to do it for you once you forgive him.
     
    Wreybies likes this.
  8. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    19,503
    Likes Received:
    10,790
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Agreed. My term for them is "mechanical words". They are the nuts and bolts of making the things we're actually talking about function and have meaning.

    ... also, I do really sometimes dream that I'm high ...
     
    Lemex likes this.
  9. FrankieWuh

    FrankieWuh Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Deepest Darkest UK
    I recall that King's book On Writing makes the point that really you should ONLY use "said". Using anything else is unnecessary most of the time if you can convey the emotion in the speech.
    I've been trying to do that in my own writing, rather than 'ejeculating' everywhere.
     
    Lemex likes this.
  10. xanadu

    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    436
    Location:
    Cave of Ice
    Agree with the consensus, though I'll add that I wouldn't be so narrow as to use 'said' exclusively. There's certainly still a place for other invisible tags (asked, replied, continued, added, etc) for purposes of flow, and also the option not to use a tag at all. Just be aware that getting more colorful than that draws attention to the text itself, which is generally not the goal--usually you want the text to disappear, and the common tags are best suited for that purpose.

    Not to mention, oftentimes the "creative" tags people use render either the speech or the action impossible, such as smiling, laughing, hissing, grunting, or spewing lines of dialogue. Try spewing some words and see for yourself.
     
  11. FrankieWuh

    FrankieWuh Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Deepest Darkest UK
    I just have. It wasn't pretty. Trying to spew lines of dialogue in front of the mirror was bad enough, but when I tried it during a romantic dinner at the local Italian resturant ... (Note to self: need to stop off and get some stain remover for my partner's dress I think.)
     
    xanadu likes this.

Share This Page