The poor word said. It’s innocent in its simplistic and fades into the background. The dialog and characters should be the focus, not the tag. I think the real problem critics on wattpad have with said (yes it does get overused at times.) anyway, the problem as I see it is that it’s easier to obsess over a writing rule than to do any actual writing.
You know, what, I think fear is getting in the way, and it’s covered up by super sticky ‘holier than thou’ attitude that they toss back at any comment about how they are overdoing it. Not that they need to let it go. No, No. No. No need, nope, no need at all.
That poor little word said gets so much shit from people on the writing/reading sites it’s frekn’ ridiculous. It’s like one good piece of writing advice to not to overdo it has become the glitter of the writing world where every writer treats it like it’s going to infest their books if they so much as touch it.
Writers messing with said probably are going to (if they haven’t already) rip words straight out of the thesaurus, the bigger and more complex the better! You can bet that ‘boring’ old said is going to be switched to some new fat words that don’t do nothin’ but weigh that scene down. Talk about overfeeding a book, put it out of its misery already, give it an edit. BANG!
It isn’t the dialog tags that should be of such focus, it’s the lack of showing that is also the problem, from what I’ve seen on Wattpad the “showing” is nonexistent or sorely lacking and tends to be flat. Use that lovely thesaurus for a better reason, like when you’ve used a word too often. (I overuse backtrack and stabbed, bleed, ran, there, and such.
What do you think, do I have things right? Are there any words you overuse? How much do you hate or love said?
(original article can be found on Wattpad in my writing tips ‘book”) I revised this to fit the topic better.