He Said, She Said

It’s okay to use “said” in your writing, but repeating the same word can become monotonous. Varying your attributions to speech can make your writing more interesting.

To keep your writing from becoming repetitive, there are several techniques you can utilize.

Leave out the attribution completely.

If a conversation involves two people, the reader can easily keep up with who is talking.

“Lara, you need to listen to me.”

“I don’t need to listen to anyone! Especially you.”

“Your life depends on it. Get in the car, now!”

Use action

Describe what the speaker is doing while they are talking.

Lily leaned through the car window. “I need your help.”

“I can’t help you.” Gripping the steering will, Will clenched his teeth.

Substitute a synonym for said.

These can help establish the mood of the speaker.

“You have to do this for me,” she whispered.

“I owe you nothing,” he sneered.

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