I apologize for the short post but I’m under the weather with a terrible cold. Nevertheless, I hope this post will generate some lively discussion as the subject tends to be slightly controversial among writers and those that give writing advice.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules of writing. One of them was to not use any other verb besides “said” to describe speech. There seems to be little grey area on this subject. Writers firmly agree or disagree. I thought I’d throw this out there and see what you all thought about it. I did not come up with this list. I found it on Writer’s Circle and they in turn must’ve hijacked it from Tumblr by the look of it. So thanks to victorious vocabulary for the list!
I would use and have used a number of alternatives to the verb “said” in writing my dialogue. However, these other verbs are used sparingly with “said” and “asked” being the backbone of my conversations. The overuse of alternative verbs can actually distract the reader from the dialogue.
Let’s hear from you. What do you think? Would you be comfortable using these alternatives to “said?” What other verbs do you like to include in your dialogue?