“It is important to remember that conversations are more than just words. Both verbal and physical interactions take place between tow or more characters.” Greg Riley in “Get Into Your Character’s Head.” [Writers’ Journal, Jan/Feb 2010]I reviewed some of my published stories, especially the early ones, before writing this post. I wondered if I interspersed physical interactions with my dialog. I’m happy to report I did. Instead of using said, I included character actions or internal thoughts with the dialog.
Most of the articles about dialog state dialog attributions should be limited to said. I understand this, because some authors get carried away with alternatives; and they get in the way of the story. Adding adverbs doesn’t improve this. When I rewrite a story, if a “said” sticks out to me; I replace it with an action. I "show" the reader through the character's actions that the words were "said sadly." Try this with our writing and see what happens.