Get Rid Of Said

Said Alternatives

Recently I have been far more active on Scribophile than I have been in a while. In fact, my level went up to Typesetter. Throughout my writing, I try to keep it changed up and have a variety of words. One of the most challenging words I have encountered is said. He said/she said.

I was reading someone’s piece on Scribophile and almost every single time there was dialogue contained said. It made it hard to properly engage with the story because I could only guess at how people were saying each piece. Being a culprit of this myself, I of course provided feedback that he should try to show us how each character is speaking.

But what words do you use instead of said? It all depends. You want to find words that convey the conversation. Here are a few that might come to mind:

  • Whispered
  • Asked
  • Answered
  • Responded
  • Began

These five are all better words than said but at the same time, they are all words that appear frequently, especially the top three.

Let’s get a little more creative than that. One of my favorite replacements for said is “bellowed” because it can be so versatile depending on the character speaking. It can be a little overused though. Here are some creative word choices for said.

  • Interjected
  • Agonized
  • Inquired
  • Prodded
  • Spat
  • Spluttered
  • Countered
  • Consoled
  • Declared
  • Jabbered
  • Justified

Now that I have given you some more ideas, let’s talk about two more important items to keep in mind when it comes to dialogue tags. First, remember to be creative and stay to the nature of your story. Not every dialogue word has one meaning. You can use them versatilely in a story for multiple meanings.

A good example of this is “shouted”. Depending on how you use the word, shouted could mean excitement, anger, or even sadness. Context is key.

The second point that I want to bring up is dialogue tags are not always needed. Dialogue tags serve a purpose from time to time but you should use them with discretion in mind. Most dialogue speaks for itself.

“Get out of here you god damn roach.”

That sentence is a good example of where you could go without a dialogue tag if you wanted to. Context permitted, you wouldn’t need it at all.

Take all of this to mind and keep an eye out for more writing tips and education. I am going to try and put out short articles like this once a week or once every other week. Today I submitted a short story to another contest. Once the contest winners have been announced I will post a really great story that is related to both Purple Fire and writer’s block.

What Happened To NaNoWriMo 2017?

As you may have noticed it has been dead silent since about halfway through NaNoWriMo 2017. It isn’t because I just gave up on my book. I got sick, sick enough to call out of work, which is unusual for me. I almost went to urgent care. Even though I returned to work, all I did was sleep and work.

For the first time, I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo. That being said, I took the month of December to complete a whole new draft of Shao Island (the name is going to change). Shao Island has long been a favorite of mine and I will be continuing to work on it this year.

NaNoWriMo 2018 will see some big changes to Shao Island as last year changed a good amount of it too.

In the last month or so I have created a short story based on Shao Island titled The Unwanted Shadow. I have been through a few edits on Scribophile for the first two sections and hope to submit it to a writing contest/journal/thingy. That is why it won’t appear on here for now.

Just today I submitted a flash fiction piece about Alyssa (one of the MC of Shao Island) seeing the magical city for the first time to a flash fiction world-building content on Scribophile. This will be coming up on here after the fifteenth or whenever voting finishes.

Shao Island is officially becoming Purple Fire. I needed to make a change to the series because not every story is happening on Shao Island itself. This will make book one Purple Fire Book One: Shao Island.

This is just an update for now. More content will be coming out shortly on the blog!

NaNoWriMo 2017: Update and Nemesis

Hello all!  Come at you with an update on my NaNoWriMo 2017 project.  So far it has come a long way with every day being at least a little over the mark.  Currently, as of writing this, I am at 7,848 words.  This is a little behind today’s estimated progress but I am not done writing for the day.  There are still 6 hours left in the day after all!

Here is a picture from this weekend, settling down to write with a glass of vodka.

Was a fun weekend of writing.  I got through some challenging spots and felt like I nailed some dialogue.

Here is a sample from chapter two:

Brushing his suit coat to the side, Lincoln took a seat on the cushioned chair inside the psychiatrists office. There was one thing to be said about these department mandated sessions, the chairs were more comfy than anything he could expect to find in a trooper barracks. Lillian Cornwall did her normal shuffling of papers in her hands before looking up at him. Was that something they taught head headshrinkers in school? Make people feel like you have a whole folder on them and remind them about it?

Nemesis Challenge

This year NaNoWriMo Seattle is having a challenge with Detriot.  Part of that challenge is having individual nemesises, nemesisi?  I applied to have one and was assigned Ivy Ice.  Check out Ivy’s profile and I’ll let you know more when I hear back from them!

NaNoWriMo Start: Chapter 1 of Detective 139

Today’s word count is a little bit behind where it should be on day 2 but I exceeded it on day one.  Day one, I finished with 1945 words.  Want to see where I am at right now?  Take a look at this live tracker:


Later tonight I will get this tracker posted on the page somewhere so you will be able to see it no matter what post or page you are viewing but until then here it is.

Want to read the first chapter of Detective 139?  Here it is below.


Everything around 1138 Sparrow Avenue was typical Seattle behavior. Traffic slugged along, people walked by a couple of blocks away, and birds flew overhead singing their song. Not much distinguished the day from any other in the Central District of Seattle, Washington. In a way the day was normal for Detective Lincoln Thomas too. A veteran of the anti-gang task force, he was used to these kind of raids.

He looked down the block again taking in the neighborhood. A low retaining wall ran down the side of the street that the subject’s side of the street. It would be great for cover. No one in any of the houses appeared to be looking outside. The SWAT team was staging right down the block, getting ready for action.

With luck, no one would know that they were coming. And everyone will stay inside, he added as a side thought. Lookie loos while a raid went down never ended well.

“Zebra 1 to Delta 2, the team is readied up.”

“Copy, Delta 2 to Dispatch, we are rolling.”

Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Start: Chapter 1 of Detective 139”