Writing Techniques & Tips

Writing techniques are one of the most important aspects for whatever you write. Used correctly, they can make the story more interesting , whether that by by using descriptive words, or adding in punctuation to add just the right effect. In this , I will demonstrate how to use those two aspects, and other various things, to make your story more appealing and interesting for the reader!


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6. Tips- Avoiding 'said'

When a character has dialogue in your story, the easy option is to say 'said'. As, you know, they said it. However, it's very hard to understand the tone of voice of your character. In this section, I will show how alternative expressions for 'said', can help portray how your character is feeling.

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So, first off, I'm going to do a sample paragraph, using only said when portraying dialogue I sat on my bed, with my laptop propped up on my stomach.

 

 Someone was saying something outside of my door. "Tilly!" my mother said. She opened the door, and leaned against the door frame. "I see you're doing nothing, as usual", she said. I looked at her. "And your point is?" I said. "Don't talk to me like that, young lady" she said, and closed the door.

 

I'm going to write two alternative paragraphs , demonstrating how the way the character is speaking completely changes the scene.

 

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Anger

The situation in the paragraph immediately seems tense, but this isn't portrayed very well. First off, I am going to brainstorm words indicating anger, and things people do when they are angry:

Annoyance

Exasperated

Fury

Irritation

Sighed

Shouted

Slam

Wrath

Yelled

 

Okay,so I think I've got enough to get started, with a few spare. I' m just quickly going to show more that said can be used, however putting an emotion after it makes it better.

 

I sat on my bed, with my laptop propped up on my stomach. . Someone was yelling something outside of my door. "Tilly!" my mother said, annoyed. She opened the door, and leaned against the door frame. "I see you're doing nothing, as usual", she said, exasperated. I looked at her. "And your point is?" I sighed. "Don't talk to me like that, young lady" she shouted, and slammed the door.

 

Now the atmosphere of the scene is portrayed much more clearly, and the alternatives for said really enhance the scene

 

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Happy

Now, although the scene doesn't initially seem to be a nice conversation between the mother and daughter, it's very easy to make it like that. Going for a different route in writing shows creativity, and that is what draws people in! Once again, I am going to brainstorm words which indicate the emotion, and words which people do when feeling that way:

Beam

Cheerful

Content

Ecstatic

Giggle

Joyful

Smile

Sing

 

So now, I'm going to pick some of the words, and replace or help said with them.

I sat on my bed, with my laptop propped up on my stomach. . Someone was singing something outside of my door. "Tilly!" my mother giggled. She opened the door, and leaned against the door frame. "I see you're doing nothing, as usual", she smiled. I looked at her. "And your point is?" I said, contentedly . "Don't talk to me like that, young lady" she beamed , and closed the door.

 

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I'm sure you can see that happiness in this context does not really work. Making sure the character and atmosphere is suited for the scene is very important. I will be demonstrating that another time!

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