Monday, March 24, 2014

A Step in the Write Direction--March 24, 2014--Eliminate "he said" and "she said"

A Step in the Write Direction

March 24, 2014

Update: This past week I was upset with a situation and to “vent,” I wrote an email to a friend. At the end I wrote, “I probably should delete this email and not send it, but I’m going to anyway.” After reading it over, I deleted the name of the person I was going to send it to, and addressed it to “God.” I figured He could do more about it, and I wouldn’t worry the other person….That same day as I got in my car to run several errands, I was still mulling the situation over in my mind (no, I was WORRYING about it), and turning on the ignition I said wearily, “Lord, I need help.” Just then these words came from the CD: “…Bring Him every burden; bring Him every care. Come unto Me. I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Hear Me and be blessed. I am meek and lowly. Come and trust My might. Come, My yoke is easy. Come, My burden’s light.” (“Come Unto Me,” Charles P. Jones.) What perfect timing!!

Thought for Today:
  “Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire
to work, to speak, and think for Thee;
still let me guard the holy fire
and stir up Thy gift in me.”
—Charles Wesley

Laugh for Today: A teen-age boy told his parents he was going to run away. "Listen," he
said, "I'm leaving home. There is nothing you can do to stop me. I want excitement,
adventure, beautiful women, money, and fun. I'll never find it here, so I'm leaving.
Just don't try to stop me!" As he headed for the door, his father leaped up and
ran toward him. "Dad," the boy said firmly, "you heard what I said. Don't try to
stop me. I'm going!" "Who's trying to stop you?" answered the father, "I'm going
with you!" (Barbara Brokhoff, Bitter-sweet Recollections, CSS Publishing Company).

Song for Today:
You will meet with trials as you journey home;
Grace sufficient He will give to overcome.
Tho’ unseen by mortal eye, He is with you ever nigh.
And He’ll keep the joy-bells ringing in your heart.
                        —J. Edward Ruark, “You May Have the Joy-bells”

Writer’s Tips: Eliminate "he said," "she said."

Don’t always have to say “he said” or “she said.” Three ways to avoid it:

1) Change paragraph with each speaker;

2) Follow dialogue with action line that mentions the character.
            OK: "Like my mother before me, I inherited my magic," Gwen said. She picked up the tattered parchment.

            Better: "Like my mother before me, I inherited my magic." Gwen picked up the tattered parchment.

3) Call the other person by name.  "Just be patient, Gwen."

The following is taken from a Writer’s Digest article:

“Most beginning authors have trouble with the use of the word ‘said.’ There is no reason to shy away from ‘said’ in dialogue. After all, words are spoken, not flung, ejaculated, whipped out, proclaimed, exhaled, blatted, hissed or cried. People ‘say’ things to other.

“To show you how bizarre this can become, Dick Perry in his book One Way to Write Your Novel (Writers Digest Books) shows how riotous and ridiculous dialogue becomes when the author strains at something other than ‘said’.”

“Hilda,” he murmured, “I love you.”

“Do you, Herbert?” she breathed.

“Yes!” he thundered.

“Are you certain you love me?” she whined.

“Why?” he gasped. “Don’t you love me?”

“I love you,” she yelled.

“You do?” he hissed.

“I’ll always love you,” he alleged.

“I’m so happy,” she whimpered.

“Me, too,” he panted.”

 Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.

Donna Clark Goodrich

No comments:

Post a Comment