Things You Shouldn’t Do In Novels

A friend of mine asked a very interesting question,”When it comes to novel writing, what are some things I shouldn’t do?” I answered in the video below. In summary, here’s some advice:

Don’t combine dialog
Keep conversation simple/natural
Don’t say “said”
Use actions to reveal speaker
Use character traits to reveal speaker

I cover the topics in detail:

As promised, here’s the list of words that replace say:

accused
acknowledged
acquiesced
acquired
added
addressed
admitted
admonished
advised
advocated
affirmed
agreed
alleged
allowed
alluded
alternatives to said
announced
answered
apologized
appeased
applauded
approved
argued
articulated
asked
assented
asserted
assisted
assured
assured
attributed
awed

babbled
baited
bantered
barked
bawled
beamed
began
begged
belched
believed
bellowed
beseeched
besought
bleated
blubbered
boasted
boomed
bowed
bragged
breathed
broke in
butted-in

cackled
cajoled
calculated
calculated
called
cannonaded
caroled
cautioned
cautioned
challenged
championed
changed
charged
chatted
cheered
chided
chipped in
choked
chortled
chorused
chuckled
churned
cited
claimed
clamored
coaxed
comforted
commented
complained
complained
complemented
conceded
concluded
concurred
confessed
confirmed
consented
consoled
contended
contested
continued
contributed
cooed
corrected
coughed
countered
cried
criticized
croaked
crooned
cross-examined
cursed
cussed

debated
decided
declared
declined
defended
demanded
denied
described
determined
dictated
discussed
dismissed
drawled
dribbled
droned

eased
echoed
edited
effervesced
egged
ejaculated
elaborated
emphasized
encouraged
ended
enthused
enticed
entreated
enumerated
enunciated
exaggerated
exclaimed
excused
exhorted
explained
exploded
expostulated
extolled

faltered
feared
fidgeted
finished
frowned
fumbled
fumed

gagged
gasped
gibbered
giggled
gleamed
gloated
glowered
goaded
greeted
grinned
groaned
growled
grumbled
grunted
guessed
guffawed
gulped
gurgled
gushed

hailed
hastened
hesitated
hinted
hissed
hollered
hooted
hoped
horned in
howled
humored

imitated
implied
implored
indicated
informed
inquired
inquired
insinuated
insisted
instructed
interjected
interposed
interpreted
interrupted
intimidated
intoned
jabbered
jeered
jested
joked

lambasted
lamented
laughed
lectured
lied
lisped
listed
lumbered

made known
maintained
maligned
marveled
mentioned
mimicked
moaned
mocked
motioned
mourned
mumbled
mumbled
murmured
mused
muttered

nagged
nodded
noted
noticed

objected
observed
offered
ordered
oscillated

panicked
panted
pardoned
perceived
persisted
persuaded
pestered
piped up
piped up
pleaded
pointed
pondered
postulated
pouted
praised
preached
predicted
pressed
prevaricated
proceeded
proclaimed
prodded
profaned
professed
proffered
promised
prompted
prophesied
proposed
purred
pursued
put in
puzzled

quavered
queried
questioned
quibbled
quipped
quoted

railed
rambled
ranted
raved
recalled
recited
recommended
regretted
reiterated
rejoined
released
relented
remained
remembered
reminded
remonstrated
renounced
repeated
replied
reported
reprehended
reprimanded
requested
rescinded
resolved
responded
resumed
retorted
returned
revealed
roared
rumbled

sang
sang out
scoffed
scolded
scorned
screamed
screeched
sermonized
shifted
shouted
shrieked
shrilled
shrugged
shuddered
shuffled
sighed
sizzled
slurped
slurred
smarted
smiled
smirked
smoldered
snapped
snarled
sneered
snickered
sniffed
snorted
sobbed
soliloquized
soothed
specified
spelled
spluttered
spoke
spurted
sputtered
squawked
squealed
stammered
stared
stated
stormed
stressed
struggled
stuttered
submitted
suggested
summarized
surmised
swayed
swore
sympathized

tantalized
tattled
taunted
teased
testified
thought
threatened
tittered
told
tutted

urged
ushered
uttered

vacillated
vaunted
ventured
voiced
volunteered

wailed
warned
waved
wavered
whined
whispered
wittered
wondered
wore on
worried

yearned
yelled
yelped
yowled

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