Have you heard of, “saidism?” No, I did not misspell sadism. Saidism most commonly refers to the conceptions of Professor Edward Said. But lately, some bloggers have used the term saidism to refer to either the overuse of the word “said” or the overuse of fancy dialogue tags like “exclaimed” or “announced.”
Here’s an exercise to help you convey emotion in your scene and avoid the overuse of all those crazy dialogue tags.
1. Select a scene from your novel that uses dialogue.
2. Replace every use of the word “said” with a dialogue tag that conveys the emotion the character is feeling. If you need help, check out the pin on “100 Ways to Say Said” on my Pinterest page for overwhelmed writers.
3. Rewrite the scene. This time eliminate the “saidisms” and try to capture the emotions of the characters in other ways. Let their choice of words, actions, or facial expressions convey their feelings.
Your turn: What other tools did you use to convey emotion?