"The writer will occasionally find it convenient or necessary to borrow from other languages. Some writers, however, from sheet exuberance or a desire to shoe off, sprinkle their work liberally with foreign expressions, with no regard for the reader’s comfort. It if a bad habit. Write in English."
Elements of Style, William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
"It is seldom advisable to tell all. Be sparing, for instance, in the use of adverbs after “he said,” “she replied,” and the like: “he said consolingly”; “she replied grumblingly.” Let the conversation itself disclose the speaker’s manner or condition. Dialogue heavily weighted with adverbs after the attributive verb is cluttery and annoying. Inexperienced writers not only overwork their adverbs but load their attributives with explanatory verbs: “he consoled,” “she congratulated.” they do this, apparently, in the belief that the word said is always in need of support, or because they have been told to do it by experts in the art of bad writing."
The Elements of Style, William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

I want everyone in the world to read The Elements of Style, and then accept that as gospel.

why do people treat “said” like a curse word





  • it’s OKAY to say “said”
  • it doesn’t make you a bad writer
  • you don’t always NEED to elaborate on HOW the words were said (see, was that so bad?)
  • sometimes people just SAY something
  • “said” is pretty much the only way to deliver dialogue without subjectivity
  • you don’t always need subjectivity
  • you don’t need to avoid using “said”
  • it’s not a bad word
  • don’t be afraid of it

FUN FACT its actually unprofessional to deviate from “said” too much

So essentially not saying “said” enough does the opposite of what you want

FUN FACT if i have to read an entire dialogue in which you use every word BUT ‘said’ i will not be able to take your dialogue seriously because oMg TeH dRaMaTiCs

because honestly unless you’re trying to differentiate a line of dialogue from the way someone would normally talk no other word will work  

every time i see that list of ‘alternatives words for said’ i want to slap something 


like i’m not saying you’re bound to ‘said’ forever and always just realize WHAT THOSE OTHER DIALOGUE TAGS MEAN and that OVERUSING THEM has these consequences

  • slowing down dialogue because readers can ‘slide over’ said but will pause to imagine other tags
  • making your dialogue sound way overdramatic because everyone is SCREAMING and HISSING and GASPING instead of just saying
  • confusing your reader about what is actually going on because the flow is weird and super over-the-top

‘said’ is actually the good guy

saying you should always use another words for ‘said’ is like saying your should always use another word for ‘to be’ 

most synonyms don’t actually mean the same thing and instead mean something very specific… which is great if you mean that word very specifically but try not to overuse because your reader WILL notice, whereas like 95% of the time your reader will just sort of ignore the word ‘said’ because they’ve been conditioned to do

you should believe me my lack of punctuation in this post is an A+ sign i know about good writing n shit okai 

#ps when you’re writing dialogue you can use things besides the dialogue tags to convey emotion #talk about body language or atmosphere #also lots of times just the words the character chooses will convey the proper emotion/intent #and of course there are exceptions to every rule if you know what you’re doing #just some things to consider

reblogging because these people basically elaborated on what i meant

There’s nothing quite like trying to write angst while listening to Blow, Gabriel, Blow from Anything Goes…


ahem. this has been brought to you by steve/bucky fanfiction.

Fic: War Banners

Title: War Banners
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Gen
Description/Notes: Inspired by the House banners I found on tumblr from this artist. AU in which the attempt on Harry’s life at Godric’s Hollow failed and Voldemort was never defeated. Over the years, Hogwarts gradually became a training ground for the wizarding army to defeat Voldemort. This is a oneshot taking place during a Death Eater attack on Hogwarts.
Word Count: 3,424
Pairings: None

Livejournal (Complete with formatting fucked up in ways only livejournal can fuck)

"You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page."
Annie Proulx (via writejenwrite)

Nineteen More


About six months ago, we made a post called Nineteen Exercises. People seemed to like it, so here’s a list of nineteen more. For those of you who missed the first list and aren’t going to read the introductory material there (even though we linked to it), here it is again:

Note: Some of these exercises will produce bad writing. That’s fine. These are not guidelines of things you should do to every (or any) piece you write. They are just nifty little activities to try.

Writers fall into habits. We use the same words over and over, or repeat the same techniques. These exercises are designed to push you to strain your fiction, style, and vocabulary so that the habits die. Feel free to adjust to exercises to fit your needs, but don’t feel free to cheat. Some of these are hard, and they’re hard for a reason.

Not reading the introductory material here would have been a serious mistake on your part. So let’s assume you did. Here we go:

  • Eavesdrop on a conversation. Write it out verbatim as it happens (this is hard–don’t sweat it if you fall a bit behind). Turn that into dialogue you think you would actually find in a word of fiction.
  • Eliminate your main character.
  • Eliminate emotion words (“happy,” “angry,”) etc., and all “I feel” (and similar) statements in narration and dialogue. Get emotion across anyway.
  • Replace every verb (except “to be”) with a synonym. Do not use a thesaurus.
  • Change the loyalty of your main supporting character.
  • Eliminate all dialogue.
  • Eliminate all narration.
  • Recreate a short story from memory. Essentially, write a second draft without referring to your first draft. Accuracy is the opposite of important here.
  • Tell one story a bunch of different times, using a different third-person narrator each time. Try to get at least three versions.
  • Describe something you see every day: a storefront, a bus, whatever. Describe it in as much detail as possible. Go back to it with your notes and see what you missed.
  • Rewrite a story such that no two consecutive sentences start with the sentence’s subject.
  • Figure out which character in your story does the least amount of stuff. Summarize the events of the story in that character’s voice with that character’s commentary.
  • Rewrite whatever you’re writing (be it a poem, story, whatever), as another kind of thing (a screenplay, letter, whatever).
  • Recall somewhere you have visited but have not lived. Put a character there and have this character walk around and describe stuff–and not just visually.
  • Take the characters (that you created) from one story and put them in a completely different story.
  • Completely adjust the structure of your story. If it is linear, fragment it. If it is fragmented, make it linear. If it’s epistolary, make it un-epistolary. Do something weird.
  • Eliminate ten percent of the content from each page of a story.
  • Introduce an irrelevant scene into a story and justify its inclusion.
  • Think about a kind of problem you’ve never had. Maybe you’ve never had your heart broken or had something really big fall apart. Write a story where that happens. 

Let us know if you have any questions about these prompts or writing in general. If you want us to read something you wrote, tag it with writeworld, and we’ll be sure to check it out!

Writing Tips #179: Seven Methods to Revise Your Writing


It’s been weeks since NaNoWriMo and I think it’s time that we get to work on draft 2 of our manuscripts. Here are seven methods from seven different writers (myself included). A lot of the advice is the same, but you may find something new or the advice may be written in a way that is easier for you to understand. So, here are seven different methods for revising your manuscript!

Method 1: Naomi
Tips from: Confessions of an Opinionated Book Geek

1. Read your story.
Print it out. Read.  Just read it and reacquaint  yourself with your story.

2. Plot out your entire story.  
This is where you figure out whether or not your story makes sense.
I plot out my story by categories:

A. Main Storyline- Where is your character at the start, the middle and the end.
B. Subplots- What else is going on?
C. Dramatic Structure- Once your entire story is plotted out, figure out your climax, resolution, conflict, rising action, call to action, etc.

3. Reread Your Story.
That’s right. If you have any illusions that once you write your story you never have to read it again…wrong. You will be reading and rereading until you can recite every line and things that were serious become inside jokes to yourself.

This read is different from that first read to reacquaint yourself. This read is for analysis.  You should have a pen and perhaps even a book for notes. As you are reading cross out things that doesn’t make sense. Ask your self questions about character motivations and whether or not it’s possible for someone to actually jump from the sixth floor and land without injuries.

How many times does this character appear? Are they needed if it’s only once? Why does your main character speak exactly like your villain?

4. A loose outline.

After I have read my story twice, I usually have an idea of what’s wrong. This outline is where I try and figure out how to make it right. I often just write bullet points of scenes and what the purpose of the scenes are.

5. Write.
Now it’s time to write again. I often like to have my original manuscript printed out, or on my nook HD tablet,  or my back up laptop. So that the computer I use to write on is just a full screen of my new draft.

I like to do research on other screens as well.

TIP: Never edit your original document. You never know when you want to bring back that erased scene. I usually duplicate my original file, name it draft 2 and edit on that new document entirely. No reason to lose what you have already written.

Method 2: Jamie Scott Bell
Tips from Writer’s Digest

Method 3:Fiction Writer’s Connection
Tips from FictionWriters.com

Method #4: Wise Ink
Tips from their blog Wiseinkblog.com

Method #5: Maxine Thompson
Tips from her blog Maxinethompsonbooks.com

Method #6:Emma Darwin
Tips from emmadarwin.typepad.com

Method #7: UNC College
Tips from The Writing Center

Method #8:  Ali Hale
Tips from Daily Writing Tips