Words to use instead of SAID
There is nothing wrong with using the word said in written dialogue. Be careful not to treat the word said as a word to be avoided. Well written dialogue should never rely on tags such as the ones below, but should convey its own attitude. When using words instead of said, be sure you utilize them properly. For example, you cannot laugh and talk at the same time. "That is so funny, laughed Bob," should not be used. A person can laugh before or after they speak, but not while they speak. Think about how your character is going to speak and the emotion that they are experiencing. Think it out before you write it down. Let me give you some examples. The following sentence does not use the word said:
"I hate you," spat Bob in disgust. Now think about that sentence. Can a person spit in disgust and speak at the same time?
Watch what happens this time when I use the word said and describe Bob's actions:
"I hate you," said Bob as he clenched his fists. His lips snarled with rage as he stormed out the room, vowing never to return.
Here is another example where the word said works just fine:
"Do have some more gravy, Bob," said Darla, spooning it out herself.
For dialogue to be effective it must appear to be realistic. The person reading your story must believe that your characters actually talk this way. You should use dialogue to reveal insights into characters, set the mood, and even to clarify plot points. I was once told that when writing dialogue, to think of it as action. Use dialogue to make something happen.

Use the list below carefully and remember that there is nothing wrong with using the word said in dialog.

accusedacknowledgedaddedaddressedadmitted
advisedaffirmedagreedannouncedanswered
apologizedapprovedarguedaskedasserted
assuredavowedbabbledbarkedbawled
beamedbeganbeggedbellowedbet
bleatedblurtedboastedboomedbragged
broke inbubbledbuggedburst outcalled
cautionedchattedchatteredcheeredchided
chimed inchitteredchockedchortledchorused
chuckledclaimedcluckedcoaxedcommanded
commentedcomplainedconcededconcludedconfessed
confidedcongratulatedcontinuedconvincedcooed
correctedcoughedcounteredcriedcroaked
croweddareddecideddeclareddemanded
denieddescribeddisagreeddiscloseddivulged
doubteddrawledechoedendedexclaimed
explainedfinishedfrettedgaspedgently
gibedgiggledgreetedgroanedgrowled
gruntedgrumbledguessedgulpedgurgled
hintedhissedholleredhypothesizedimitated
impliedinformedinquiredinsistedinterjected
interruptedintonedjeeredjestedjoked
laughedliedlispedmaintainedmarveled
mentionedmimickedmoanedmumbledmurmured
musedmutterednaggednoddednoted
objectedobservedofferedorderedpanted
pipedpleadedpledpointed outpondered
praisedprayedproclaimedpromisedproposed
protestedpurredput inpuzzledquavered
queriedquestionedquippedquotedranted
reasonedreassuredrecalledreckonedrelated
remarkedrememberedremindedrepeatedreplied
reportedrequestedresoundedrespondedretorted
revealedroaredsangsassedscreamed
scoffedscoldedshotshoutedshrieked
shrilledsighedsmiledsmirksnapped
snarledsneeredsneezedsnickeredsniffed
sniffledsnortedsobbedspatspeculated
spokesputteredsqueakedstammeredstarted
statedstormedstutteredsuggestedsurmised
tauntedteasedtemptedtestedtheorized
threatenedtoldtrilledurgeduttered
volunteeredvowedwailedwarnedwent on
weptwhimperedwhinedwhisperedwondered
worriedyawnedyakked  


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