Re: RARA-AVIS: tricks

From: a.n.smith (
Date: 08 Feb 2000

> I heard an interview with Elmore Leaonard once where he discussed writing
> dialogue. He said ne tries never to use adverbs to describe how someone
> something. He believes the words themselves should convey the feeling
> them. Now I use this as a barometer to assess writing craft. It's pretty
> accurate.
> I always marvel at writers who can do this. I sure can't.

We're told that in our workshops as well, and I've come to believe it. Just use "said" for all tags. It has to do with trusting the reader instead of trying to be too careful or assume the reader won't get it. So, I'm comfortable using said, because it makes me think more about the way people talk, the words and rhythms, instead of depending on the stand-by emotional tags.

And it's a nice hard-boiled way to write dialogue. A Hammett and Hemingway thing, eh?

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