I just started the second season of Ricky Gervais' After Life, and in the first episode they read aloud from a terrible, terrible novel. It made me feel very vulnerable. In some spots I was able to identify why it was bad (famous surgeon scrubs in to give someone an injection) and other spots sounded ... I confess ... just fine.
Those spots were mainly dialog. "Blah blah," Joanne said.
Perhaps Ricky G is not of the school of "said". I've been replacing "Maggie snarled," with "Maggie said," which is difficult because I'm avoiding adverbs around the dialog too. So, no "Maggie said, nastily" either.
Why am I making this hard on myself? I don't know.
To go one farther, some novelists have moved to trying to avoid speech tags at all (which makes for a better audiobook).
(personally: if Maggie snarled, Maggie snarled, not said; that's strong enough to differentiate. But yeah, most of the speech tags should be said; seeking endless variety is a good way to make a conversation sound *really* weird.)
Posted by: KC | January 23, 2022 at 12:42 PM
KC - I agree. Back in the blog archives I was a big fan of snarled, then I converted.
Posted by: TheQueen | January 23, 2022 at 03:27 PM
Brace yourself for season 3, btw
Posted by: Big Dot | January 24, 2022 at 01:26 AM
Big Dot - oh god, who dies, or does he lose a limb or something?
Posted by: TheQueen | January 25, 2022 at 12:39 PM