Shivers Down My Spine

I wish you guys could read what I’ve just written.

Shivers down my spine!

I cannot express how satisfying it is to write a scene where the characters somehow take over your mind and speak for themselves. I knew the gist of what had to be said but I didn’t know they would say it the way they did. And it is good!

I just re-read it, just to make sure and yes, it is good!!!

It’s such a delicious, tiny scene. I sort of want to add more dialogue, but I must hold out and remember my previous post Screaming in Silence… sometimes there’s too much talking.

Silence is just as good; and here, it is epic.

I love ending a chapter with speech. No ‘he said’ or some kind of description; just close speech marks and end. There’s something so satisfying about it. And actually it makes for an even bigger cliffhanger because the reader is left to interpret the speech on their own.

I have read many blogs and websites discussing the use of said, replied, asked, answered, shouted, exclaimed, sobbed etc etc and the description of how speech is said; for example:

“No more secrets?” asked Edna in a melancholic-tone and with a longing smile.


“No more secrets?” asked Edna.

The basic argument is that if you have done your characterisation right, then you shouldn’t have to describe her tone or her smile. The reader should be able to put that smile onto Edna without any prompt from the author; and they should know the tone already.

I don’t entirely agree with this argument. I think there is a time and place for a specific instruction to a character’s emotions and actions, and there is a time to let the reader decide. I think that  a balance between these is what I am trying to find.

I have, however, learnt that publishers see it as ‘juvenile’ to use all the different words for ‘said’ (like the ones listed above). Which is completely ironic because at school we were taught to never repeat ourselves; we were positively encouraged to use the different ‘said’s’ as that made us more intelligent; or just mark-able at a higher grade.

Anyway! I am not just using the word ‘said’ in my novel. There is nothing wrong with the word and I’m getting a fair bit of usage out of it. But, I am allowing myself to use some of the other words too.


I think ultimately it’s about finding your own style of writing. Sometimes, a character says something in a very specific way; and that needs to be described.

And sometimes I just get bored of the word ‘said’, he said.

PS This marks the end of Chapter 10! Hooray!

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