"Hi, there," he grinned VERSUS "Hi, there," he said with a grin - Page 2


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Thread: "Hi, there," he grinned VERSUS "Hi, there," he said with a grin

  1. #11
    Okay. I am not a published author and probably the last to give writing advice but (you knew that was coming right?) it seems if I read "Hello." He grinned. I seem him saying hello with a grin on his face. I see the grin as his action not as how he's actually communicating. So if it's just physically impossible doesn't seem like the best reason. If it disrupts the story flow or moves focus where you don't want it, that would be reason not to do it.

  2. #12
    well...this is a blast from the past.
    "Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by relarrison1964 View Post
    Okay. I am not a published author and probably the last to give writing advice but (you knew that was coming right?) it seems if I read "Hello." He grinned. I seem him saying hello with a grin on his face. I see the grin as his action not as how he's actually communicating. So if it's just physically impossible doesn't seem like the best reason. If it disrupts the story flow or moves focus where you don't want it, that would be reason not to do it.
    I agree with this. I don't read 'he snickered' as someone snickering as they speak, more like they speak and then snicker.

    While I would caution you against using these terms too frequently (because it looks like you're trying to hard to avoid using the word 'said' which is perfectly adequate in a lot of cases), I don't actually have a problem with them when they do occur.
    I have an extensive knowledge of Mean Girls quotes.

  4. #14
    I did the classic mistake of "write first, learnt he rules after"
    That's not a mistake. You only learn 'the rules' once you start writing. Keep going and you learn they're just tools/conventions to adhere to or subvert as you wish.

    'He grinned' is a fine way of expressing imagery and tone in one word as long as it works with the pacing of the prose.
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  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by relarrison1964 View Post
    Okay. I am not a published author and probably the last to give writing advice but (you knew that was coming right?) it seems if I read "Hello." He grinned. I seem him saying hello with a grin on his face. I see the grin as his action not as how he's actually communicating. So if it's just physically impossible doesn't seem like the best reason. If it disrupts the story flow or moves focus where you don't want it, that would be reason not to do it.
    I find the same thing -- words that aren't perfect, but they still do a job. But in the original example, perhaps use implicit dialogue tags for the last three.

    He scowled. "I hate you."
    She grinned. "Hello!"
    "Pleasure to meet you." She smiled and nodded.
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  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by TheYellowMustang View Post
    I frequently come across stories where writers use this trick:

    "As if you'll manage that," she snickered.
    "I hate you," he scowled.
    "Hello!" she grinned.
    "Pleasure to meet you," she smiled and nodded.

    Then I read somewhere that you CANNOT smile or scowl a word or sentence, and that replacing such words with "said" is wrong.

    Is it a rule against it, or...?
    It's such a neat little trick to use in dialogue when you feel like the word "said" is showing up every other line.
    Im sure that there is more to the conversation, but it is a bit confusing. I cant tell if the girl is introducing herself to the male character or if she is turning away from the conversation to introduce herself to someone else, like when a employee turns to talk to a customer. If it is the second one, I think it should be indicated. I think you can also combine the last two tags.

    "Hello," she said with a grin. "Pleasure to meet you."

    But that's just me.

    I try to avoid 'said' as much as I can but sometimes it comes up and that is perfectly fine. I was taught to avoid using 'said' but it should be up to you to decide.
    Last edited by TheWonderingNovice; December 19th, 2015 at 05:33 AM.
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    If not, it can't be helped.

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  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by TheYellowMustang View Post
    I frequently come across stories where writers use this trick:

    "As if you'll manage that," she snickered.
    "I hate you," he scowled.
    "Hello!" she grinned.
    "Pleasure to meet you," she smiled and nodded.

    Then I read somewhere that you CANNOT smile or scowl a word or sentence, and that replacing such words with "said" is wrong.

    Is it a rule against it, or...?
    It's such a neat little trick to use in dialogue when you feel like the word "said" is showing up every other line.

    This is perfectly normal with dialogue tags. It's simply substituting said with another verb in place. I use it all the time myself.
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  8. #18
    Generally, unless it's a direct dialogue tag, I use a period.

    "Hey," he said.
    vs
    "Hey." He smiled wide.

    That's my method, and I feel it's very readable. But I wouldn't be put off by aforementioned methods. As long as it never became grating through repetition or by stretching the concept to an extreme.
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  9. #19
    "Hi there," he said, with a grin.

    Otherwise, you're saying that he said "with a grin" as well as "hi there".

    There's always a comma before that 'with', whether it's "with a grin", "with a smile", or or any other 'with' you can think of.
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  10. #20
    I am a believer in using the simplest tags possible.
    Say, Tell, Ask, Answer. Get funky and throw in a reply from time to time.
    I agree that you cannot grin dialogue. Or weep or cry dialogue.
    I also like breaking up dialogue into small parts instead of putting extra info into the tags.
    "Hi, there," he said with a grin
    vs.
    "Hi, there," Bill said. He grinned when he saw Mary's reaction to his appearance. "It's been a long time."

    Or


    "Hi, there." Bill grinned when he saw Mary's reaction to his appearance. "It's been a long time."

    Also cool is to skip the dialogue tag whenever it is obvious who is talking.

    One of the easiest ways to stand out from the crowd is to get the dialogue smooth. All the extra attributes just throw a wrench into the works.
    Some writers never use anything other than 'Said.' Robert B. Parker comes to mind.
    It begs the question, if some writers can get everything across with just said, isn't all that other stuff just useless, extra fluff?
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