Tag Archive: Author


Here is a recap of the alternatives to said to help your writing have more sizzle…

 

Synonyms For Said – Reporting

 

added
advised
called
complained
congratulated
continued
stated
announced
asserted
commented
declared
informed
lied
observed
offered
mentioned
protested
quoted
recalled
related
reminded
remarked
remembered
repeated
replied
reported
reassured
revealed
taunted
teased
tempted
to enhance an argument
to warn, to offer help
to capture attention by increased volume
to express dislike or disagreement
to give wishes; to acknowledge an action or deed
to further or add to an earlier point
to say or paraphrase from official documents
to declare formally and or publicly
to state positively but having no proof
to explain, interpret, or criticize – to make a remark
to make known clearly and openly
to give information, to make known; declare
to not speak truthfully
to mention casually
to suggest; to state
to state briefly; to bring up in conversation
to formally or openly disagree
to repeat words of others; to cite a source
to remember or bring up
to make connection; to say allegorically
to remember; to mention so as not to forget
to make a brief, casual statement of an opinion
to recall
to say again; to restate
to answer; to say in response
to give a formal statement; to give an account of
to give additional comfort, support, or evidence
to make known; to publish
to cruelly tease in a mocking or insulting manner
to annoy or pester; vex
to cause to consider (usually) something bad

Synonyms For Said – Explaining

 

addressed
answered
asserted
assured
broke in
cautioned
claimed
concluded
confided
described
explained
finished
quipped
implied
noted
promised
puzzled
reckoned
rejoined
replied
responded
retorted
returned
speculated
surmised
to speak directly to sme, respond or answer
to respond to a question
to add or offer additional information
to soothe, comfort, calm
to interrupt, supplying additional information
to warn or advise; strongly suggest
to assert or maintain; to state as fact
to finish or draw to a close; to understand
to let in on a secret; to disclose
to give additional information
to make or offer an explanation
to conclude or complete
to say ironically or unemotionally
to suggest, hint, or say without saying
to make mention; to acknowledge
to give word or make a vow
to say with doubt or ambiguity
to add or submit; to figure or believe
to answer an objection
to answer a question or comment
to reply or answer a question or comment
to reply to criticism in a sharp, witty way
to answer an objection; to reply to a criticism or charge
to guess using information available
to conclude or deduce

Synonyms For Said – Arguing

 

accused
agreed
argued
commanded
contended
convinced
countered
chided
disagreed
emphasized
exclaimed
interjected
interrupted
maintained
objected
pleaded
proclaimed
proposed
reasoned
sassed
screamed
threatened
warned
yelled
to charge, slander
to concur, to be in harmony
defend position, disagree or dispute
lead; overwhelm opposition
to argue, dispute, disagree
persuaded; remove all doubt, win over
to dispute, question
to scold mildly; to goad into action
to be at odds; to not agree
to stress
to speak suddenly, loudly with surprise
to add or assert; to interrupt
to cut off or disrupt; to interject out of turn
to assert, to support by argument, to affirm
to disagree; be in oppostion to
to implore or beg; to speak desperately
to announce officially; support publicly
to set forth a design or plan
to state calmly and with logic
to speak back to authority figure; rebel
to use high pitch loud voice
to say in menacing manner
to make aware in advance of harm, danger, or evil
to shout or use loud voice; scream

 

Synonyms For Said – Suggesting

 

chimed in
coaxed
dared
hinted
implied
insinuated
intimated
pondered
suggested
urged
to add (usually) unwanted advice
to convince against someone’s will; change mind
challenge, question
implies suggestion
similar to suggest – indicates a definite idea
to convey sth unpleasant in a sly, sneaky way
to say without saying, stresses delicacy of situation
to consider; to weigh all options
to propose as a possibility, to imply
To entreat earnestly and often repeatedly; exhort

 

Synonyms For Said – Questioning

 

asked
begged
blurted
bugged
demanded
guessed
hypothesized
implored
inquired
insisted
pleaded
questioned
requested
wondered
worried
to question or solicit
to ask in a humble manner earnestly
to interrupt or interject, to ask all together
to ask repetitively; difficult or unwanted questions
to ask for urgently and boldly
to infer; to ask without evidence
to guess, infer
to ask with fervor, implying desperation or distress
to ask, seek information
to demand strongly, to declare firmly
to answer a legal charge, to lovingly implore
to ask, doubt, or dispute
to ask (sometimes) formally
to say with puzzlement or doubt
to cause to feel anxious, distressed, or troubled

 

Said Synonyms – Acknowledging

 

acknowledged
admitted
affirmed
alleged
approved
avowed
boasted
bragged
conceded
confessed
corrected
denied
disclosed
divulged
fretted
greeted
imitated
jested
marveled
nodded
praised
revealed
uttered
volunteered
reluctant disclosure of something perhaps a secret
reluctance to disclose or concede facts
implies deep conviction, little chance of contradiction
to assert or declare, especially without proof
to consent or agree
boldly declaring, often in the face of opposition
to take pride in, brag or overstate
to boast or overstate; be prideful
similar to acknowledge and admit
an admission of a weakness, failure, omission, or guilt
to instruct more correctly; remove misconception
not accepted; unused, refused
to reveal something previously concealed
to reveal sth that should have remained secret
to needlessly worry about small details
to acknowledge presence; salute, salutation
to copy, mimic or simulate
to make fun of, tease
to speak with wonderment or amazement
to move head up and down in agreement
to speak of with honor; to speak highly of someone
to make known that which had been secret or hidden
to articulate; pronounce or speak
to give or offer to give voluntarily

 

Synonyms For Said – Tone

 

barked
bawled
beamed
bellowed
bleated
boomed
cackled
chattered
cheered
choked
clucked
cried
croaked
crowed
declaimed
drawled
groaned
grumbled
grunted
jeered
joked
laughed
mimicked
mumbled
murmured
muttered
nagged
ordered
ranted
roared
scolded
shouted
shrieked
smiled
smirked
snapped
snarled
sneered
squeaked
wailed
whispered
to speak sharply or loudly; shout
to cry loudly
to glow, shine, radiate
to roar, to cry out in anger or fear
to repeat same sound (cry) again and again
to speak with loud, deep, voice; a thunderous sound
to laugh cynically – implies sinister intent; sneer
to speak noisily about something unimportant; small talk
to yell loudly; to give a shout
to speak with great difficulty due to emotion
noise made using tongue against bottom of mouth
to call for help, to shout, to weep, to sob
to make a sound like a frog; hoarse voice
to speak in a self satisfied way; to boast
to speak in a pompous way
to speak in a way that prolongs the vowels
to make noise in chest or throat
to speak under one’s breath; to show disapproval
to make unintelligible low sounds
to speak or shout derisively; to mock
to make a joke or speak in funny manner
to say in fun, joking manner
to say by copying another; to make fun of by imitating
to utter inarticulate or almost inaudible sounds
to speak in a low, indistinct voice
to speak in a low, indistinct voice; inarticulate
to badger; to continually remind
to speak demandingly, with authority
to make short, angry monologue or speech
to utter a loud, deep sound; animalistic
to find fault; speak angrily
to make a loud cry or call
to make a loud, piercing cry or sound
to say good naturedly, kindly; in a kind manner
to say with contempt
to say suddenly and angrily
to say with a hateful rage
to say in scornful manner
to say with tiny high pitched voice
to express grief or pain through long, loud cries
to speak softly to avoid being overheard

 

Synonyms For Said – Sounds & Misc.

 

babbled
bubbled
chatted
chortled
chorused
chuckled
coughed
decided
echoed
gasped
giggled
growled
gulped
gurgled
hissed
hollered
lisped
panted
piped
quavered
shrilled
sighed
snickered
sniffed
snorted
sobbed
sputtered
stammered
stuttered
vowed
wept
whimpered
whine
to speak incoherently; gibberish, like baby talk
to speak lively and expressively; with joy
to speak informally as to a friend
to chuckle gleefully; short laugh of joy
to speak simultaneously, together
short, soft laugh; usually to one’s self
short, strong expulsion of air from lungs
finished, set
repeated sound
heavy breath after scare or physical exertion
short, high-pitched laugh from fear or nervousness
rough, threatening manner
to speak taking in large amounts of air as if drinking
to speak with fluid in the throat
to speak in evil threatening manner
to shout usually to someone at a distance
to speak unclearly substituting sounds especially ‘th’
to speak as if out of breath
to speak suddenly and loudly
to speak emotionally with faltering voice
high pitched shriek
to speak with difficulty as if bored
to say derisively with a laugh
to say as if about to cry
to say with contempt and a short burst of breath
to cry uncontrollably
to speak with difficulty perhaps from impediment
repeating words and sounds while missing others
to repeat certain sounds multiple times
to promise solemnly; pledge
to cry softly, quietly
to cry or sob with soft intermittent sounds; whine
to complain or protest in a childish fashion

 

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Here’s a fourth list of alternate terms to said, to help spice up arguments.

 

accused
agreed
argued
commanded
contended
convinced
countered
chided
disagreed
emphasized
exclaimed
interjected
interrupted
maintained
objected
pleaded
proclaimed
proposed
reasoned
sassed
screamed
threatened
warned
yelled
to charge, slander
to concur, to be in harmony
defend position, disagree or dispute
lead; overwhelm opposition
to argue, dispute, disagree
persuaded; remove all doubt, win over
to dispute, question
to scold mildly; to goad into action
to be at odds; to not agree
to stress
to speak suddenly, loudly with surprise
to add or assert; to interrupt
to cut off or disrupt; to interject out of turn
to assert, to support by argument, to affirm
to disagree; be in oppostion to
to implore or beg; to speak desperately
to announce officially; support publicly
to set forth a design or plan
to state calmly and with logic
to speak back to authority figure; rebel
to use high pitch loud voice
to say in menacing manner
to make aware in advance of harm, danger, or evil
to shout or use loud voice; scream

 

Here’s a third list of alternate terms to said, focusing on setting for tone.

 

barked
bawled
beamed
bellowed
bleated
boomed
cackled
chattered
cheered
choked
clucked
cried
croaked
crowed
declaimed
drawled
groaned
grumbled
grunted
jeered
joked
laughed
mimicked
mumbled
murmured
muttered
nagged
ordered
ranted
roared
scolded
shouted
shrieked
smiled
smirked
snapped
snarled
sneered
squeaked
wailed
whispered
to speak sharply or loudly; shout
to cry loudly
to glow, shine, radiate
to roar, to cry out in anger or fear
to repeat same sound (cry) again and again
to speak with loud, deep, voice; a thunderous sound
to laugh cynically – implies sinister intent; sneer
to speak noisily about something unimportant; small talk
to yell loudly; to give a shout
to speak with great difficulty due to emotion
noise made using tongue against bottom of mouth
to call for help, to shout, to weep, to sob
to make a sound like a frog; hoarse voice
to speak in a self satisfied way; to boast
to speak in a pompous way
to speak in a way that prolongs the vowels
to make noise in chest or throat
to speak under one’s breath; to show disapproval
to make unintelligible low sounds
to speak or shout derisively; to mock
to make a joke or speak in funny manner
to say in fun, joking manner
to say by copying another; to make fun of by imitating
to utter inarticulate or almost inaudible sounds
to speak in a low, indistinct voice
to speak in a low, indistinct voice; inarticulate
to badger; to continually remind
to speak demandingly, with authority
to make short, angry monologue or speech
to utter a loud, deep sound; animalistic
to find fault; speak angrily
to make a loud cry or call
to make a loud, piercing cry or sound
to say good naturedly, kindly; in a kind manner
to say with contempt
to say suddenly and angrily
to say with a hateful rage
to say in scornful manner
to say with tiny high pitched voice
to express grief or pain through long, loud cries
to speak softly to avoid being overheard

 

Writer’s Tip- Alt-Said Terms

As a writer, one of the problems that can come up is how to say “said” without using that word.  After the first few chapters, you need to have a different way to explain characters talking- here’s a list to give you a hand.

 

added
advised
called
complained
congratulated
continued
stated
announced
asserted
commented
declared
informed
lied
observed
offered
mentioned
protested
quoted
recalled
related
reminded
remarked
remembered
repeated
replied
reported
reassured
revealed
taunted
teased
tempted
to enhance an argument
to warn, to offer help
to capture attention by increased volume
to express dislike or disagreement
to give wishes; to acknowledge an action or deed
to further or add to an earlier point
to say or paraphrase from official documents
to declare formally and or publicly
to state positively but having no proof
to explain, interpret, or criticize – to make a remark
to make known clearly and openly
to give information, to make known; declare
to not speak truthfully
to mention casually
to suggest; to state
to state briefly; to bring up in conversation
to formally or openly disagree
to repeat words of others; to cite a source
to remember or bring up
to make connection; to say allegorically
to remember; to mention so as not to forget
to make a brief, casual statement of an opinion
to recall
to say again; to restate
to answer; to say in response
to give a formal statement; to give an account of
to give additional comfort, support, or evidence
to make known; to publish
to cruelly tease in a mocking or insulting manner
to annoy or pester; vex
to cause to consider (usually) something bad

 

Stephen King- look, you know who he is, so I’m not going to insult you by giving an overview.  That said, below are his top 20 rules for writers.  Setting aside if you’re a fan of his, one must admit he knows a thing or three about the craft of writing, so I would listen up (or whatever the reading version of that is- read up?  Word up?)  Learn them, live them.

1. First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience. “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that arenot the story.”

2. Don’t use passive voice. “Timid writers like passive verbs for the same reason that timid lovers like passive partners. The passive voice is safe.”

3. Avoid adverbs. “The adverb is not your friend.”

4. Avoid adverbs, especially after “he said” and “she said.”

5. But don’t obsess over perfect grammar. “The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story.”

6. The magic is in you. “I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing.”

7. Read, read, read. ”If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”

8. Don’t worry about making other people happy. “If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.”

9. Turn off the TV. “TV—while working out or anywhere else—really is about the last thing an aspiring writer needs.”

10. You have three months. “The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season.”

11. There are two secrets to success. “I stayed physical healthy, and I stayed married.”

12. Write one word at a time. “Whether it’s a vignette of a single page or an epic trilogy like ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ the work is always accomplished one word at a time.”

13. Eliminate distraction. “There’s should be no telephone in your writing room, certainly no TV or videogames for you to fool around with.”

14. Stick to your own style. “One cannot imitate a writer’s approach to a particular genre, no matter how simple what that writer is doing may seem.”

15. Dig. “Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible.”

16. Take a break. “You’ll find reading your book over after a six-week layoff to be a strange, often exhilarating experience.”

17. Leave out the boring parts and kill your darlings. “(kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.)”

18. The research shouldn’t overshadow the story.“Remember that word back. That’s where the research belongs: as far in the background and the back story as you can get it.”

19. You become a writer simply by reading and writing.“You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot, and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself.”

20. Writing is about getting happy. “Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. Writing is magic, as much as the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.”

President Obama with a Lightsaber Ah, President Obama- while it might have been a bit of a slip, (and letting on that you are indeed a uniter, not a divider- being both a Star Trek and Star Wars fan, apparently), I say, let’s run with this!

I’m calling on the (official) authors in both series to kick slide it into a book a some point.  But, as different things- I’m not saying go all fanon and bring Vulcans into Star Wars, or Midichlorians into Star Trek- I’m saying something ala…

 

* The Vulcan mind meld has always been a secretive, guarded skill and event; the je’Dai mind meld doubly so, as not only does it have the “normal” risks of the mind meld, (such as brain damage or Pa’nar Syndrome), but adds in concerns about fusing the minds into one host and leaving the other comatose, as well as being able to affect other sensitive minds in a certain range.  However, it is much stronger, able to overcome trained or telepathically powerful minds of greater strength than a normal mind meld ever could

* The Jedi Mindmeld (Force Mindmeld) is a form of mental merging and telepathy, typically between a Jedi/Sith and a normal sentient, in which the J/S is able to join their minds to share all the experiences between the two sentients.  Comes with great risk, but the rewards (or needs) can overpower worry about the danger.  Not a darkside skill per se, but moreso practiced by them when normal Force Telepathy doesn’t work- or to enhance pleasure between two sentients.

 

Spock rocking the Jedi Garb

 

 

 

Let’s be about it…

Let’s be honest- the internet and the like has made us lazy when it comes to writing.  We forget typos, and then are offended when the Grammar Nazis swoop in to chide us- (online though, its as likely as not that they are going on about grammar to avoid making a counterpoint).

So, let’s take a quick glance at five easily corrected mistakes to keep an eye out for.

1) Interchangnig homophones- You remember homophones, right?  The words that sound the same but are spelled different, and have different meanings.  The two big parings are:

a) You’re and Your

and

b) There, Their & They’re

Remember, you can quickly check for the contraction versions by using the full versions- if “you are” or “they are” doesn’t work in context, they don’t work as contractions.  Which leaves the there/their possibility- is it a location or a possessive?  Boom, done, next.

2) Getting “than” and “then” curfuddled- Its problematic, especially since there are times when you can interchange the words and the sentence still works- though the thought it conveys would be different.

Than is comparative, as in “I  would  rather be writing my novel than writing this email,” or “My house is smaller than hers.”

Then deals with time, as in, “I  ate my lunch then I  played World of Warcraft.”

3) Another pair of similar sounding ones- “affect” and “effect”- can cause problems.  Again, meaning is key: “Affect” is a verb, used to denote action, as  in “The injury affected my soccer game” or, “I often affect a British accent to sound more intelligent.” “Effect” is a noun, and is generally the  result of something being affected, (adding to the confusion), as in, “Because the cellphone keeps ringing, the effect of the disruption made it harder to concentrate.”

Certain punctuation can be extremely pesky, dotting the page with  misused  commas or semi-colons. A few rules of thumb to remember:

4) When to use semi-colons (“;”) ?Semi-colons are punctuation marks that separate two complete sentences, (aka, independent clauses), and help tie your writing together nicely; they  help with the flow of writing while helping you avoid choppy sentences.  Also, semi-colons should be used to  separate items that have commas in their names, such as, “I lived in  Tongduchŏn, South Korea; Los Angeles, California; and Blue Hill, Maine.”

5) Overusing commas- The basics of comma usage are to denote a natural pause in writing, or to separate two or more  things. Go back  and read your writing outloud, count the commas, and if you have too many, rewrite the  sentence or separate into another sentence.

Okay, if you’re reading this, you know who Joss Whedon is…  So, without further ado, his top ten tips for Hollywood writers (and, frankly, authors in general).

1. FINISH IT

Actually finishing it is what I’m gonna put in as step one. You may laugh at this, but it’s true. I have so many friends who have written two-thirds of a screenplay, and then re-written it for about three years. Finishing a screenplay is first of all truly difficult, and secondly really liberating. Even if it’s not perfect, even if you know you’re gonna have to go back into it, type to the end. You have to have a little closure.

2. STRUCTURE

Structure means knowing where you’re going ; making sure you don’t meander about. Some great films have been made by meandering people, like Terrence Malick and Robert Altman, but it’s not as well done today and I don’t recommend it. I’m a structure nut. I actually make charts. Where are the jokes ? The thrills ? The romance ? Who knows what, and when ? You need these things to happen at the right times, and that’s what you build your structure around : the way you want your audience to feel. Charts, graphs, coloured pens, anything that means you don’t go in blind is useful.

3. HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY

This really should be number one. Even if you’re writing a Die Hard rip-off, have something to say about Die Hard rip-offs. The number of movies that are not about what they purport to be about is staggering. It’s rare, especially in genres, to find a movie with an idea and not just, ‘This’ll lead to many fine set-pieces’. The Island evolves into a car-chase movie, and the moments of joy are when they have clone moments and you say, ‘What does it feel like to be those guys ?’

4. EVERYBODY HAS A REASON TO LIVE

Everybody has a perspective. Everybody in your scene, including the thug flanking your bad guy, has a reason. They have their own voice, their own identity, their own history. If anyone speaks in such a way that they’re just setting up the next person’s lines, then you don’t get dialogue : you get soundbites. Not everybody has to be funny ; not everybody has to be cute ; not everybody has to be delightful, and not everybody has to speak, but if you don’t know who everybody is and why they’re there, why they’re feeling what they’re feeling and why they’re doing what they’re doing, then you’re in trouble.

5. CUT WHAT YOU LOVE

Here’s one trick that I learned early on. If something isn’t working, if you have a story that you’ve built and it’s blocked and you can’t figure it out, take your favourite scene, or your very best idea or set-piece, and cut it. It’s brutal, but sometimes inevitable. That thing may find its way back in, but cutting it is usually an enormously freeing exercise.

6. LISTEN

When I’ve been hired as a script doctor, it’s usually because someone else can’t get it through to the next level. It’s true that writers are replaced when executives don’t know what else to do, and that’s terrible, but the fact of the matter is that for most of the screenplays I’ve worked on, I’ve been needed, whether or not I’ve been allowed to do anything good. Often someone’s just got locked, they’ve ossified, they’re so stuck in their heads that they can’t see the people around them. It’s very important to know when to stick to your guns, but it’s also very important to listen to absolutely everybody. The stupidest person in the room might have the best idea.

7. TRACK THE AUDIENCE MOOD

You have one goal : to connect with your audience. Therefore, you must track what your audience is feeling at all times. One of the biggest problems I face when watching other people’s movies is I’ll say, ‘This part confuses me’, or whatever, and they’ll say, ‘What I’m intending to say is this’, and they’ll go on about their intentions. None of this has anything to do with my experience as an audience member. Think in terms of what audiences think. They go to the theatre, and they either notice that their butts are numb, or they don’t. If you’re doing your job right, they don’t. People think of studio test screenings as terrible, and that’s because a lot of studios are pretty stupid about it. They panic and re-shoot, or they go, ‘Gee, Brazil can’t have an unhappy ending,’ and that’s the horror story. But it can make a lot of sense.

8. WRITE LIKE A MOVIE

Write the movie as much as you can. If something is lush and extensive, you can describe it glowingly ; if something isn’t that important, just get past it tersely. Let the read feel like the movie ; it does a lot of the work for you, for the director, and for the executives who go, ‘What will this be like when we put it on its feet ?’

9. DON’T LISTEN

Having given the advice about listening, I have to give the opposite advice, because ultimately the best work comes when somebody’s fucked the system ; done the unexpected and let their own personal voice into the machine that is moviemaking. Choose your battles. You wouldn’t get Paul Thomas Anderson, or Wes Anderson, or any of these guys if all moviemaking was completely cookie-cutter. But the process drives you in that direction ; it’s a homogenising process, and you have to fight that a bit. There was a point while we were making Firefly when I asked the network not to pick it up : they’d started talking about a different show.

10. DON’T SELL OUT

The first penny I ever earned, I saved. Then I made sure that I never had to take a job just because I needed to. I still needed jobs of course, but I was able to take ones that I loved. When I say that includes Waterworld, people scratch their heads, but it’s a wonderful idea for a movie. Anything can be good. Even Last Action Hero could’ve been good. There’s an idea somewhere in almost any movie : if you can find something that you love, then you can do it. If you can’t, it doesn’t matter how skilful you are : that’s called whoring.”