Re: RARA-AVIS: Parker

From: James Michael Rogers (
Date: 05 Mar 2010

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    Karin said:

    "I also found Parker's terse "I said," "he said" intrusive once I became aware of it. I know it's one of those "rules" of contemporary writing: leave out the adverbs, don't even bother with the descriptive verbs, let the dialogue itself express it all. But it's a silly rule, if you ask me."

    I would like to echo this thought. This is a "rule" that is normally good advice, like not using the sustain pedal on a piano all the time. But the best writers discard it as they need. Adverbs are nice notes from time to time. Carried to an extreme, the "he said" biz begins to sound a bit like a parody itself. At best, it seems like one is an echo of Hemingway. Better stil if one's dialogue stands without the he said/ she said stuff. Can one remember how Fitzgerald handled it without looking it up? I can't, just because it was so unobtrusive.


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