I've just been looking at an article by Elmore Leonard published in the Guardian a while back, in which he says 'Never use a verb other than 'said' to carry dialogue. He goes on to say 'The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But said is far less intrusive than grumbled, gasped,cationed, lied. I once notice Mary Mcarthy ending a line of dialogue with "she asseverated", and had to stop reading to get the dictionary." I can understand a less commonly known word distracting the reader from the writing, but would you agree with this? Surely a piece of writing would be dull without any verbs at all. I'm currently editing some short stories i've written that will be assessed and wouldn't want to be marked down for using verbs? What do you all think?