Monday, September 22, 2008

"I laughed at myself," he said.

After my recent gripings about the word "said," I had to laugh at myself recently while reading a couple of John Scalzi novels. I noticed this author used "said" quite often, not ranging into silly words (such as "stated" or "expounded," etc.), nor did he just do away with "said" in favor of action.

And it worked.

One school of thought is that "said" is a perfectly good word because the reader will sort of scan over it without really thinking about it. I'm guessing Scalzi is a member of this school of writing, though he might or might not even be conscious of it. Anyway, Scalzi is a pretty good writer, and it works for him to use "said" a lot.

I, myself, will probably continue to shun "said" for other forms of spreading my characters' dialogue, but I'll keep Scalzi's writing in mind. I could change my mind someday. Who knows?

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