Writers Resources: Words for Said

Words for SAID

Sometimes a writer can get obsessed with differentiating the ways characters speak in different situations. The advice varies and an unobtrusive ‘said’ can often do the job very nicely; but it’s worth having the options in front of you.The following is based on the scouring of numerous websites and my own notes. I’ve broken the word-lists down thematically and without repetition, so their placing is rather arbitrary but on balance of the circumstances of most common use: Elmore_Leonard
General: Basics, Beginnings / Middles / Ends, Responding
Assertiveness, Volume and Anger: Assertive, Loudly, Declarations, Angry, Critical, Commanding
Engagement, Explanation and Discussion: Putting Forward, Advising / Cautionary, Entreating, Articulating, Relating / Revealing, Objecting
Affected: Uncontrolled, Faltering, Pleading, Pained, Shocked, Weakly
Positivity, Banter and Accord: Happy, Humorously, Laughing, Accepting, Agreement, Approval, Caring
Perhaps Undignified, Miscellaneous and Others: Gloating / Derisive, Complaining, Too Keen?, Other Noises, Quietly, Miscellaneous
“3) Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.”
4) Never use an adverb to modify the verb ‘said’.”

-Elmore Leonard

Of course there’s no one way to categorise these synonyms and an attempt for perfection on this score would be an assured route to madness (perfection and madness being more appropriate to the writing itself!) I’ve intentionally omitted weaker words but still happy to receive suggestions on possibles to add.Word up people – hope it helps!

General

BASICS BEGINNINGS /
MIDDLES / ENDS
RESPONDING
Commented Added Answered
Passed on Began Replied
Remarked Broke in Responded
Said Concluded Tetsuo-Kaneda
Suggested Continued
Told Started
Uttered Went on
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Assertiveness, Volume and Anger

 ASSERTIVE LOUDLY  DECLARATIONS ANGRILY  Stormed COMMANDING
Asserted Bawled Announced Barked Threatened Bossed
Averred Bellowed Claimed Carped Thundered Commanded
Avowed Boomed Declared Fumed Vented Demanded
Insisted Called Lectured Glowered Dictated
Interrupted Cried Preached Growled CRITICAL Enjoined
Interjected Exclaimed Proclaimed Raged Accused Instructed
Maintained Screamed Professed Ranted Alleged Ordered
Opined Screeched Pronounced Roared Chastised Stipulated
Persevered Shrieked Stated Scowled Chided Captain America! I command you to....
Persisted Shouted Trumpeted Seethed Condemned
Pressed Yelled Brian Blessed Snapped Criticized
Vowed Snarled Judged
Spat
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Engagement, Explanation and Discussion

PUTTING
FORWARD
Suggested ADVISING /
CAUTIONARY
ENTREATING ARTICULATING RELATING /
REVEALING
OBJECTING
Conjectured Surmised Advised Cajoled Articulated Commented Argued
Considered Theorised Cautioned Coaxed Clarified Confided Contended
Guessed Tried Emphasised Crooned Elaborated Disclosed Corrected
Hypothesised Ventured Exhorted Entreated Elucidated Divulged Countered
Mused Volunteered Recommended Pestered Enunciated Noted Debated
Pondered Hans Zarkov Stressed Prodded Explained Observed Dismissed
Postulated Urged Prompted Hinted Pointed out Returned
Predicted Warned Offered Informed Related Riposted
Proposed Proffered Interpreted Remarked Shot back
Reasoned Promised Specified Reported
Risked Requested Revealed
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Affected

UNCONTROLLED FALTERING PLEADING PAINED SHOCKED (See also:
‘LOUDLY’ above)
Babbled Choked Appealed Howled Gasped
Blundered Coughed Begged Keened Gawped
Blurted Faltered Beseeched Lamented
Jabbered Spluttered Implored Mourned WEAKLY
Prattled Sputtered Pleaded Yelped Mewled
Raved Stammered Yowled Quivered
Rambled Stuttered Sniveled
Squawked Was able to get out
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Positivity, Banter and Accord

HAPPY HUMOROUSLY LAUGHING ACCEPTING AGREEMENT APPROVAL CARING
Beamed Jested Cackled Accepted Affirmed Applauded Assured
Chirped Joked Chortled Acknowledged Agreed Approved Comforted
Grinned Quipped Chuckled Admitted Chorused Cheered Consoled
Rejoiced Watchmen logo 1600x1202 (2) Giggled Conceded Concurred Complimented Reassured
Smiled Hooted Confessed Confirmed Cooed Sympathised
Laughed Echoed Extolled
Verified Marvelled
Praised
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Perhaps Undignified, Miscellaneous and Others

GLOATING /
DERISIVE
COMPLAINING TOO KEEN? OTHER NOISES COPYING QUIETLY MISCELLANEOUS
Boasted Complained Flirted Clucked Imitated Breathed Cursed
Crowed Griped Fussed Drawled Mimicked Croaked Deadpanned
Derided Groaned Gushed Droned Parroted Murmured Digressed
Gloated Grumbled Simpered Grunted Recited Whispered Exaggerated
Jibed Moaned Gurgled Repeated Harangued
Leered Snorted Hissed Gollum 1 Hassled
Mocked Whined Huffed Invited
Scoffed Intoned Lied
Smirked Your mother was a hamster... Panted Pestered
Sneered Rumbled Swore
Snickered Sighed Testified
Taunted Slurred
Teased
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