Category: dialogue tags

Said Bookisms and Dialogue; Yusaf Mack Says He’s Gay; Vote For Your Youtuber Favorite

Said Bookisms and Dialogue

I once read a book review where an amateur author claimed the book “didn’t have good writing.” I’d read the same book, which is why I was reading other reviews, and I have to admit I was stumped by this other author’s nasty negative review. The book I’d read…the very same book this other author reviewed negatively…was flawless. It was so well-written I learned a few things while I read it.

So out of curiosity, I went to the Amazon page of the author who left the bad review for the other author and I checked out HER books to see what HER writing was like. I figured she must be really great, with such a great big mouth. In the first few pages of several of her books I found nothing but “said bookisms,” from one line of dialogue to the other. When this author’s characters spoke to each other they “grumbled, mumbled, and stumbled” so many times I almost lost my lunch.

In this author’s quest to come off looking as if she knew it all she proved to people who actually do know better that she doesn’t know much. That’s the only way to put it kindly. And when I write posts like this I’m hoping readers will check them out so they can see the difference, too.

With that said, here’s what “said bookisms” are. As the aritcle states, you can use them once in a while and it’s fine. Sometimes you have to use them. (I do it sometimes and feel so dangerous, which shows you what a geek I can be) However, if you use them in every single line of dialogue people who know better are going to whisper.

In short, a “said bookism” is what happens when an inexperienced author constantly uses dialogue tags like “she exclaimed, he ejaculated, she grumbled” instead of just saying “he said,” or “she said.” You see it a lot in magazine articles. Magazines are famous for this kind of writing. It’s fine in the right context because those people aren’t supposed to know better and it would be rude to correct them. Sometimes it’s cute. However, when a book is being published I think the author should know better. As a reader I can overlook a few misspellings and little things. But bad dialogue is something different. 

And here’s yet another article I found this week about dialogue I thought was excellent. It’s short, it’s simple, and it will show you the difference…and there is a difference. I don’t make this stuff up, which is why I link to posts and bloggers who know far more than I do. 

Problem #1: “Said” alternatives are usually counter-productive in that they end up drawing way more attention to themselves than plain-Jane “said” ever would.

Yusaf Mack Says He’s Gay

When I posted about the Yusaf Mack story earlier this week I had a feeling there would be a follow up soon. He’s the cute (hot) boxer who was claiming that he didn’t realize he did a gay porn film because he was allegedly drugged at the time. The original story was that he was bisexual.

Now this…

In a new interview taped earlier this week with Fox 29 in Philadelphia, Mack told reporter Quincy Harris: “I’m tired of holding it in. It is what it is. I live my life. I’m gay,” adding that he’s been aware of his sexuality for “about eight years.” 

I don’t have a negative comment about this. It’s the perfect example of just how confused some gay men get and how hard it is for them to come out. I’m just glad he did come out and I hope things get easier for him. It sounds as if he’s still going through a lot.

You can read the rest here.

Vote For Your Youtuber Favorite

I have to admit that I love this. I love everything about it. The sheer fact that someone can reach this point of exposure from Youtube just makes me smile. When I first discovered Youtube years ago I never would have imagined anything like this. It also breaks (shatters) the old Hollywood mold where a few select people decided to would become famous, who was talented, and who would get the most exposure.

Kicking off this year’s program is the category YouTube Standouts. Social media is saturated with personalities vying for attention, but these ten queer YouTubers are the cream of the crop. From comedy to politics, each brings to the table positive visibility for the LGBTQ community.

You can check them out here. I follow a lot of these people on Twitter and they are some of the brightest, most creative on the Internet. And they’re doing it all by themselves.

One of the personal goals that I’ve been talking about for quite some time is that I’m going to start doing book readings on Youtube eventually. I will do this. I just want to make sure it’s not totally awful so I don’t wind up looking like the “said bookism” of Youtube…and there’s a very good chance that could happen. 

Fangsters: Book 2

Gang Bang Fangsters



Dialogue Tags With Adverbs: No-No

I see bad dialogue tags all the time in excerpts of published books and I cringe. It really is the perfect example of how readers can tell by the first five pages whether or not they want to buy and read a book. It’s been said, not be me, that it’s not possible to describe great writing…but it’s very simple to spot amateur writing.

I’ve talked about said bookisms here on the blog before. Though I can’t find the link, I’ve talked about how confusing it can be to readers when there are no dialogue tags at all.

And now I’m referring you to a blog post written by a published author, Nathan Bransford, who makes the point so well about adverbs in dialogue tags I’m not going to bother adding anything but the example below…taken verbatim from his blog so he gets full and absolute credit…and a link the entire post. I’ve read his book and I know he knows what he’s talking about.

Sometimes adverbs can’t be avoided…although I’ve been known to write entire novels without them at all. In my last edit for, FOUR GAY WEDDINGS, which will be released soon, the editor added the word “knowingly” and it’s still bothering me. I let her get away with it this time because it wasn’t part of a dialogue tag and I was having a great day. But, for some reason, I don’t think there is anything that gets me more than “ingly” words. I absoultely despise them. And since it’s been bothering me so much I will not let this happen again.

Anyway, below is a satirical example of dialogue tags and adverbs by Mr. Bransford, in bold print. For those doing NaNoWriMo right now, you might want to take advantage of his entire post.

Adverb Central:
“What do you mean I can’t use adverbs with dialogue tags?” Lucia asked questioningly.
“Just don’t do it,” Nathan replied testily.
“But why not?” Lucia asked quizzically.
“It’s kind of a rule,” Nathan said resignedly.
“I kind of like them,” Lucia said poutingly.
“If you keep using adverbs,” Nathan said patiently, “Pretty soon your reader will only notice the adverbs and not the dialogue because the adverbs are doing all the work for the reader.”
“Oh,” Lucia said understandingly.
“Yeah,” Nathan nodded knowingly.