I was on Pinterest a few days ago, and there were all those “advice for a beginner writer” pins popping here and there – yes, I fess up, I searched “writing” once, to see where it would lead me… Well, it led me to a few strange posts, that’s for sure! lol
There was one that made me go “really???”, bordering on “are you kidding me???”… The post was about using “say” in dialogues. “Say” and no other verb like “ask”, “whisper”, “reply”… and so on. According to the author of the post, it wasn’t professional to use any other verb but “say”. And, I was like, “Is he/she serious?”
I don’t know if it isn’t professional to use anything other than “say”, but I know it would leave me braindead if I did use nothing else. I mean, I’m sorry, but I like words too much to simply ignore them.
If you say something, you don’t whisper it or you don’t shout it… Language has a word for every shade, every word is a nuance. If I used only a few, it would be like writing in black and white, when I want to write with every color I know!
“I love you,” she whispered, so softly he had to get closer to hear her. It was a mistake. He could now smell the floral scent of the shampoo that made her hair so soft and feel the heat radiate from her body, which brought back the memories of the night they shared months ago.
“I love you,” she said.
To me, the first is more effective than the latter. Because if she says it, then he can hear her fine and he doesn’t have to get closer… and I seriously don’t know what to write next. In my humble opinion, the scene lacks emotions. To get the same effect, the same meaning, I’d have to write:
“I love you,” she said in a whisper.
Which would do, too. I mean, I’m not averse to “say”. I use this verb. But not just…
What do you think, as a writer or a reader, or both?