He whispered. He mocked. He whimpered. He spat. He shouted. He answered.
No. Big No! Never use complicated and fancy words for reporting speech. It often distracts the reader. Rather, try focusing on the coming sentence after reporting speech; the reported one. By doing that, believe me, your writing will improve ten times than what it is right now. Because when you say, “He whispered.” then you can’t say, “He said, his voice low and breathing out, sending chills through my spine.” Get the difference? The second sentence gives more of a visual feel than the first; i.e, show don’t tell.
Mostly, “said” is used for this. It makes the reader skim over it and the read flows smoothly. In fact, now a days, writers don’t even use “said” at the most. They often go with, (“Hi!” He waved his hand, rather than, “Hi!” he chirped and waved his hand. OR, “Hi!” he said and waved his hand.)
So, we have three kinds of dialogues over here. Maybe, most of you don’t agree with me on this. Maybe, most of you do. But, let me tell you that this has worked for me, because it draws more of the professional picture to your readers, while the other one looks more childish (to me).
Lets take an example: What’s better?
(Fancy reporting speech) — “You’re a cheater!” she shouted angrily.
(Simple reporting speech, but not much showing) — “You’re a cheater!” she said; her voice so loud, I almost backed off. Her face was getting red with anger. — (Sometimes, even the “said” limits your descriptions…I don’t know why, bu it does.)
(My favorite one) — “You’re a cheater!” She slammed her fist on the table; her knuckles turning white, eyes blood shot. Her voice hit my ears like thunder; a trait she got from her father. — (I didn’t have to think while writing it; it just flowed at the third example. )
See? You start describing more when you get to the third part. You focus more on the dialogue and the description rather than looking over the internet for fancy words for the reporting speech.
That is it for today! Share your thoughts.
Hope, I helped.