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The day that Moss was hanged, eight others were cut down,
And when the graves had all been dug, the queen rode out of town.

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...acknowledges "Said" is a fine word to effectively convey dialogue...

Anyway, writing is a very subjective thing and almost every rule you can think of has a time and place where it works and doesn't work... Just like "don't use said."


Oh, fine. If you want the rant, you'll get the rant.

"Don't use said," phrased in that way, is inherently bad advise. "Said" is not only a fine word, but needlessly forcing yourself not to use it is not only an exercise in frustration and futility, but also incredibly obnoxious.

Ask yourself this: Why are you writing? If the answer is "To make art" then, yes, you should absolutely avoid 'said,' but you'd also need to do much more than that. You'd not only need an extensive grip of the language you are writing in with all its peculiarities and commons, but also fundamentally understand that which you will be writing will not be appreciated by an audience at large. You are actively trying to elevate the medium beyond the realm of normal consumption and would, thus, use extremely thought-out and uncommon words and sentence structures. That, or you go the complete other direction and boil it down to sound poems. Either way, you're going deliberately out of your way to avoid the mundane with purpose.

If it is literally anything else, don't purposefully try to avoid "Said."

While a big audience can definitely swallow some big words, the most appealing literature to the masses is also written in simple language. It is not about expanding the words you use, but about using the words you already know well. It's fine to strive to expand your vocabulary, but it need not be a goal. A lot of successful books have been written in very basic language that a lot of people can understand, and this is by design.

By telling a person they should avoid a word wholesale without explaining why, you're entirely missing the point. Even then, you shouldn't be telling them to avoid the word to begin with. The thing you should say isn't "Don't use said". What you should say is "Use said in these contexts" as that is not only far more useful advice, but also makes the fledgling writer think about the why and how of their writing.

And, to tie it into KISS, don't think too hard about your writing. "Don't think about it at all" is not what I'm saying here, though. I'm saying you should definitely give issues like these some though, but never get caught up in them. If you really struggle to effectively write without relying on some words, then just use those words. There aren't only a lot of options in how to phrase a sentence, but there's also a lot of ways to manipulate your own mannerisms into something readable and workable.

Source: I don't follow any of my own advice and my writing is fucking garbage because of it.
@Ammokkx I actually like to skip said and just describe an action, which works for the most part.

<Snipped quote>

There are lots of options.

Anyway, writing is a very subjective thing and almost every rule you can think of has a time and place where it works and doesn't work. Just like "show, don't tell," Just like "write what you know," Just like "don't use said."

I also have one golden rule that trumps all.


Keep it simple, stupid.

Anyway, I had this entire thing written up but instead I'll just point out that the very image you linked has a small section where it, itself, acknowledges "Said" is a fine word to effectively convey dialogue. The alternatives, by its own admission, should only be used sparingly, and preferably in the rough contexts under which they are categorized.
There are more interesting alternatives TBH.

The problem with thesaurus-shorthands like these is that they often feel very unnatural in most people's writing and takes away from the inherent simplicity that makes it pleasing to read in the first place. A vast majority of them go unused because despite appearing elegant on the surface, they're actually clumsy as hell to pour into sentences.

(I don't actually have anything to add to the conceit of this thread because I can't remember any genuinely and blatantly bad writing advice I've gotten.)


okay, so i know people generally don't know how to pronounce my username

but this one's new even for me

I like role-playing on top of the box.

get off the fucking soapbox, ink
Oh, you closed the other thread.

Yeah, this clears up a lot of the 'what' behind this setting.
Going to be honest here, of these 20 examples, I think I could only consider maybe two "out-of-the-box" at best. That phrase, ironically, makes me think of a specific type of RP set-up; that being, anything that isn't a traditional setup.

When I think out-of-the-box, I think the following concepts: Not having a single set character, everyone controlling the same guy, making your character up as you go along, etc.

Basically, anything that deviates from the "Here is my character sheet" style of RPing we're all used to in both forum and tabletop-style RP. That, to me, would be considered "out-of-the-box."

Everything else proposed just has to do with the narrative flow of the RP, and are often just more tools to explore within that boundary of traditional character sheet-based RPing. Sure, they're not always explored fully or utilized as well as they could, but none of these ideas constitute a roleplay all their own. Most of what I've read here just comes down to "how much planning do you want vs. how much improvisation" and "if we improvise, in what manner do we improvise?"

What I'm saying is that this is a lot more out-of-the-box to me than the stuff which is proposed in this thread.

"Ah, sorry! I didn't mean to make you jump..." Shizuku was quick to apologise. Like she thought, the other girl was curious about the missing person. "I saw you looking at her poster, so... I just... wanted to ask, I guess."

"Argh, when will you learn?! Quit being so straightforward, damnit! Talk more like a proper lady!" Cross yelled at Shizuku from his spot inside her pocket. Shizuku pulled her phone out, pretending to check it briefly. She didn't do it on purpose, but the J-Ruler card slotted into the casing was clearly visible to the other girl.

"Sorry, I thought it went off for a second," Shizuku explained. It was all just an excuse to pull up her bag and throw her phone into it, the voice of a malcontent boy echoing from inside. She turned back to her conversational partner. "Uhm... you knew my name, but I don't think I've properly introduced myself. I'm Shizuku Fumino, from class 3-3. It's nice to meet you!"

After her introduction, Shizuku turned to look at the missing person's poster again. "I wonder what happened to her... I heard she was in the hospital a lot, so I never saw her around school. She couldn't have run away from the hospital, right...?"
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