One of the first things I ever read about writing was that it was a sign of an amateur to use action words in place of the word "said" such as "laughed" "screamed" "asked". The idea was that the nature of the dialogue should let the reader know how the character is speaking and with what tone, etc. I took this advice to heart when I first began my book but now I have decided to use other verbs here and there throughout my story. I feel it makes the story more colorful and interesting. What do you think? Do you use other action words instead of sticking with "said"? note- I often don't use any of these words, my favorite technique is to mix the dialogue with a bit of narrative such as: Nancy picked up her tea cup and thoughtfully looked at it. "I just haven't been the same since we moved here."