Said bookisms

Let’s have some fun.

Said bookisms.

Yep. I’m going there.

I’ve heard hundreds of arguments about this. Hundreds. I’m not kidding.

Here is what I’ve come down to. If you are looking for a traditional publisher, nix ‘em. Traditional editors will rant, rave, scream and cry over your bookisms.

I found a couple reasons why:

-In the “show don’t tell” rule, you are expected to convey the manner of speaking without telling us someone laughed, cried or shouted.

-My personal favorite; you can’t “laugh” words. You speak, you talk, you say.

I can hear your jaw drop as your protest rises. “But… but… but I can laugh out words!”

Unless you are some kind of freak with an unheard of speaking impediment, no. No you can’t. You can laugh while talking, yes. But the noise of laughter cannot physically form words. It is impossible.

That is the difference. You can hiss while speaking. You cannot hiss words. “Ssssssssssss” Can never sounds like “Sssssssome word” because as soon as the “s” sound is over, it is no longer a hiss. When it is no longer a hiss, you are back to saying the word.

Just sayin’.

Here is an interesting side-by-side comparison of work with and without saidisms.

 Now, things get tricky when we move from dialogue tags to action tags.

This sums it up nicely.

So, should you kill all dialogue tags with fire?


Balance is key. To everything.

Oh, and writing a good book. Writing a good book is rule one.

Rule two? Everything in moderation.

“Good night, all!” he yelled. 

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