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.