Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Weeding Out Said

What do gardening and writing have in common? Both contain weeds. Both need to be cultivated.

“That is well said, replied Candide, but we must cultivate our garden.” (… il faut notre jardin.) Voltaire, Candide

Appearing below is one example of wilted writing:

Example 1.

Turning to him she said “How’s Bobbi?”
He smiled and said “Bobbi let Daddy know he wanted his treats. He looked at me and said “Meow, meow, meow.” Daddy said “Bobbi’s a good boy isn’t he?”
Her eyes illuminated. “Aw.” She said.

The above snippet of he said she said is flat and monotonous. Writers definitely do not want to write said repeatedly. So how do you the writer shear, trim, or pull said and change the landscape? Simple. Let us take a look.

Revision 1.

Turning to him she questioned, “How’s Bobbi?”
He told her “Bobbi let Daddy know he wanted his treats. He looked at me and announced “Meow, meow, meow.” Daddy exclaimed, “Bobbi’s a good boy isn’t he?”
Her eyes illuminated. “Aw.” She remarked.

The flow is better. The writer is not redundant. Said is a dandelion – a weed, but a useful weed as dandelions can be used in salad making. Use said sometimes.

Planted below in alphabetical order is a list you can use to create your own written lush garden with. Water it – use it and watch your garden grow!

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List:

Added
Admonished
Asserted
Agreed
Answered
Argued
Advised
Assured
Announced
Admitted
Barked
Bawled
Beamed
Bellowed
Bemoaned
Bemused
Breathed
Bubbled
Burbled
Buzzed

Cackled
Cajoled
Cawed
Chagrined
Challenged
Chanted
Chatted
Chattered
Chided
Chirped
Chortled
Chorused
Chuckled
Clipped
Clucked
Complained
Concurred
Confessed
Confirmed
Continued
Cooed
Coughed
Countered
Cried
Cursed

Declared
Demanded
Demonstrated
Denied
Directed
Drawled



Echoed
Ejaculated
Emphasized
Enquired
Examined
Exhausted
Expelled
Explained
Exploded
Expressed

Fidgeted
Fizzled
Flamed
Flared
Flirted
Fumed

Gasped
Gathered
Gestured
Giggled
Grated
Grilled
Gritted
Groaned
Grumbled
Gushed

Harassed
Hinted
Hissed
Howled
Hummed

Implied
Included
Informed
Injected
Interrupted

Jeered
Jested
Joked

Kidded


Lamented
Laughed
Lied

Managed
Mentioned
Mimicked
Mirrored
Moaned
Mocked
Murmured
Mused
Muttered

Nagged
Nattered
Nodded
Noted
Nudged

Offered

Panted
Parried
Pealed
Pitched
Prattled
Prayed
Pressed
Pretended
Prodded
Proffered
Prompted
Pronounced
Protested
Purred

Qualified
Queried
Questioned
Quipped
Quizzed


Ranted
Rasped
Rebuked
Rebutted
Rehearsed
Reiterated
Remarked
Replied
Requested
Returned
Revealed
Roared

Sang
Scoffed
Scolded
Screamed
Screeched
Shrieked
Shrugged
Shuddered
Sighed
Sizzled
Slung
Slurred
Smiled
Snapped
Snarled
Sneered
Snickered
Sniffled
Sobbed
Spat
Specified
Spewed
Spoke
Sputtered
Squawked
Squeaked
Stammered
Started
Stated
Suggested
Supplied
Swore

Tested
Told
Trailed

Urged

Vented
Voiced

Wailed
Whimpered
Whined
Whispered
Whistled

Yelled
Yodelled

Bit out
Blew out
Blurted out
Bore out
Burst out
Called out
Charged out
Checked out
Chiselled out
Choked out
Crammed out
Dropped out
Drove out
Fished out
Flung out
Forced out
Ground out
Hammered out
Harpooned out
Piped out
Pounded out
Raked out
Rang out
Rapped out
Rumbled out
Shot out
Sprang out
Spun out
Threw out
Thrust out
Thumped out
Tossed out
Tumbled out
Whooshed out
Wrestled out



Carried on
Cut in
Nailed down
Touched on

6 comments:

Amethyst Anne said...

Hi. I love your post! :) I used to have a list like this from my sixth grade English class, but I don't know where it is. Your list of other ways to say "said" will be helpful to me and to other writers. I don't like using "said" all the time too, so this is great! :) Thank you so much.

Michelle Kafka said...

Hi Amethyst. Helping out is one of the perks and putting smiles on people's faces is another. You are so welcome and thank you for stopping by!

Anne Wayman said...

Good advice. I often have to go back through the ms a time or two just to get out all the 'saids' - they seem to appear without my will!

Michelle Kafka said...

Thanks for the comment Anne. Happy holidays!

Freddie Sirmans said...

I am impressed with your blog. It is nicely laid out pretty and easy to read.

Michelle Kafka said...

Thanks so much Freddie. Glad you stopped by.