1. JosephMarch
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    JosephMarch Active Member

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    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
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    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
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    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:
     
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  4. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    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
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    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
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    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.
     
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  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    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 ...
     
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  9. FrankieWuh
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    FrankieWuh Active Member

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    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.
     
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  10. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    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
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    FrankieWuh Active Member

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    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.)
     
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