Book: Writer's Craft Power Pack 1 - 5-Book Bundle by Rayne Hallcategories: Book, Fiction Writing, Fiction Editing, Self-Editing, Writing Fight Scenes, Writing Dark Stories, Manuscript Editing, Writing Horror Fiction, Fantasy Writing, Writing about Magic, Writing Fantasy Fiction, Novel Writing, Creative Writing
Rayne Hallabout this boxed set: Here's a sample from this book bundle, taken from 'The Word-Loss Diet'. The book uses British English vocabulary, spelling and punctuation.
CHAPTER 6: CUT THE 'SAID', SHE SAID
When I teach the Word-Loss Diet class, this lesson is many students' favourite, because it allows them to cut many words with little thought and no pain.
Dialogue tags ('he said', 'she asked', 'he replied') can help the reader understand who's talking. But when it's clear who's talking, you can cut the tag.
If the speaker is doing something, the action is enough to attribute the dialogue. Simply put the speech in the same paragraph as the action.
The dialogue scene will become more exciting to read. Good dialogue needs very few tags.
He drew his gun and said: "Prepare to die."
He drew his gun. "Prepare to die."
Grabbing her arm, he asked: "Where are you going?"
"To the police," she replied.
He grabbed her arm. "Where are you going?"
"To the police."
Shrugging his shoulders, he said, "I don't know."
He shrugged. "I don't know."
"Bastard!" he shouted, slamming his fist on the table.
He slammed his fist on the table. "Bastard!"
She fidgeted with her necklace. "I didn't see him," she said.
She fidgeted with her necklace. "I didn't see him."
I recommend that you kill most speech tags. Keep only the ones which are needed for clarity.
The tag 'he/she continued' or 'he/she went on' is almost always pointless, so kill it.
1. Use the 'Find&Replace' function to highlight 'say' and 'said' with orange.
Sit back and assess your manuscript on the screen. Probably, the orange spots are clustered together in dialogue scenes. Are all of them necessary, or would the reader understand who's talking without the help of tags?
3. Take a note of the manuscript's current wordcount. Then kill as many 'say' ('said, says, saying') as as you can without confusing the reader.
4. If you want to be thorough, do the same for 'reply/replie', 'ask', 'answer', and other dialogue tags you may have used.
5. Run a wordcount. How many words have you shed with this chapter? How many altogether? At this stage, I imagine you with a big satisfied grin on your face.
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Other books by Rayne Hall (more)
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• Book Review: Writing Vivid Settings - Professional Techniques for Fiction Authors (Writer's Craft Book 10) by Rayne Hall|
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