Someone asked me the other day: “What’s your favorite part about writing?”
The answer was simple. Easy.
Dialogue. I love creating believable, sincere dialogue. I love getting into my characters head and creating their “voice”. Their way of speaking. Their nuances and mannerisms.
I particularly love writing men’s voices. I love the challenge of it. Guys speak differently to each other than they would to a woman. They speak differently to a woman they are flirting with than they would with a woman they have been dating for a long period of time.
I love digging in there and finding that authentic voice to create a realistic dialogue between my characters.
After I write dialogue (heck, after I write anything, but mostly dialogue) my trick is to read it out loud as if I am having this conversation. (Do I need to remind you that writers are weird?)
I took a class not too long ago. A writer’s course. One of the subjects was, of course, creating dialogue. A much-heated debate arose surrounding a particular word.
I just said it. The “dirty” word of authors.
Said is boring. (They said) You can’t use said. (They said) Here is a list of 500 words to use instead of said. (They said)
I looked over that list, mortified. I went through my manuscript. GASP. I used said. I changed every dialogue scene I could find to not only eradicate the word said as a dialogue tag, but to include action verbs. So, so many action verbs.
I re-read my manuscript, expecting to be blown away by the new, shiny and improved version.
I laughed out loud.
By the way, in the history of ever…have you ever bemoaned something? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Crossing that off my list of 500 words to use instead of said.
Sometimes….you just said. Yeah, you heard me. I said that. My eyes weren’t begging. I wasn’t reaching for anything and I didn’t mutter it or cry through bone wracking sobs. I said it.
I just simply said it.
Go on authors. Say it. You won’t die. The world won’t stop spinning on its axis. You won’t start the apocalypse.
You’re on the couch talking to your best friend. You’ve already reached for a cup of tea and blew on it to cool it off before the first sip. You’ve leaned back. Maybe you’ve set the cup down and hugged a soft pillow to your chest. You’ve smiled. They’ve smiled. You’ve laughed. You’ve connected, exchanged glances. They’ve asked. You’ve responded. And then…one of you just says something.
There’s no emotion in your eyes. No action to attach to the words. You just simply said.
Now I’m not saying all the time. Of course, we need to set the scene. The emotion. The tone. The visual in our reader’s heads.
But is it possible, that sometimes, something is just said?