Vocabulary: Alternatives for “Said”

Here is a list of alternative words that describe speech more vividly than the word “said”. The list is, by no means exhaustive and writers should not discount the usual reference materials: dictionaries and thesauri, both print and online. One need only search online for synonyms. My favorite go-to site for synonyms is http://www.thesaurus.com

When Should You Start a New Chapter?

When composing chapters for a book, try to contain scenes within chapters, similar to scenes in plays. As long as the scenes are related to a single block of action or topic, keep them within the same chapter. If a change or transformation is involved, by all means, start a new chapter. Another way to…

The Music of Writing

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the music the words make. ~ Truman Capote, Truman Capote: Conversations The best writing has a certain musicality to it so that it flows smoothly from one word to the next, one sentence, paragraph, and chapter to another. It’s not just the…

On Teaching Writing

We’re just over a week into the new year and what a busy week it was! My two short story writing classes began and I only hope my students are enjoying it as much as I am. One of my students asked if I planned to read and comment on everything they submit. I can’t…

Let’s Write Haiku!

One of the first forms of literature anyone encounters is poetry. Who doesn’t remember those nursery rhymes we grew up with? We also sing or listen to songs, which are formally known as lyric poetry. In our early years at school, we read, memorized, and recited poems, either in choral recitation groups or declamation contests…