November 13, 2012

Said - T. L. Wiens

Recently, there’s been a movement to strike all other words that describe a spoken word in written form and only use “said.” The reasoning I’ve heard for this movement are:

  1. People don’t notice “said.”
  2. Other words are “telling” words.
I don’t know who decided that “said” is an invisible word but they are wrong! It’s also a telling word.

I had the pleasure, and I say this tongue in cheek, of revising a manuscript in which the author only used “said.” It was horrible! The piece read like a Dick and Jane story without pictures. I’ll admit there are other issues with this author’s writing skills but every dialogue was “he said,” “she said,” covering pages of writing. It was boring and unimaginative. Readers need to see the picture and that takes more than using “said” as a dialogue tag.

I see parallels with my Christian walk and my writing ministry. I can say I’m a Christian and quote scripture but at some point there has to be a picture—my life has to show the meaning of the words. I have to live my faith.

So whether it’s in a manuscript or in living, “said” may not always do the job and is definitely not invisible.

1 comment:

  1. I heartily agree.
    One of the challenges in dialogue is to avoid a repetitious "he said," "she said."
    I think the movement you describe is all apart of a campaign to make us all alike as well as equal.
    God made us all different. Vive la difference!
    Excuse my French.


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.