Ok this is where I struggled the most in the beginning and I’ll tell you how I improved over night.
You got a pen and paper?
Ok so G-O-O-G-L….. what? You already know about Google? Oh… ok then, well jump onto le google and punch in ANY word then put the word ‘synonyms’ on the end and BAM a whole new world (SING IT ALADIN!) will open up right before your very eyes!
I STILL use the damn synonym page every. 2. Minutes. While writing stories because I have the vocabulary range of a 3 year old. ANYWHO! Enough about my exciting life.
Yeah, use it. It’s great. Sentences go from-
-:Her eyes flew open in shock. Did he just lick me?! She thought, shocked. She turned her head slowly to look at him. Shock plastered all over her face. “Y-You just licked me!” She stammered… shocked. :-
Shocking… right. Are you sure you’re shocked? I just can’t seem to grasp the feeling of how shocked you are…
-: Her eyes flew open in astonishment. Did he just lick me?! She thought, stupefied. She turned her head slowly to look at him. Her face aghast. “Y-You just licked me!” She stammered…thoroughly appalled. :-
Try not to use the same word too many times. (I still do this with the word smirked because I love the word and it adequately describes the look.. ok ok I’ll take a leaf from my own book)
Another thing I find hard is expanding vocabulary for describing people talking. Words like -said, replied, answered, retorted, asked, questioned.- there are only so many describing words you can use so I found another way around it…
you ready for this…
DON’T use them LOL
Ok let me explain…
“And what if I don’t want to?” She said.
“And what if I don’t want to?” She raised an eyebrow at him defiantly.
See? I didn’t have to use the word ‘said’ OR you could flip it the other way around:
She raised an eyebrow at him defiantly. “And what if I don’t want to?”
You can just go straight from describing the surroundings or actions of the character to what they say and it doesn’t have that overly repetitive theme of ‘said’
This format also helps the reader just get into the story and read without it being disjointed.
I have since come to learn that anything on the end of a dialogue piece- ‘she said, he retorted, they whined’ is called a dialogue tag. And you don’t always have to use the tag (as I explained above.)
And when you don’t use the tag and just jump straight into the ‘action’- ‘she pushed the door closed, he grabbed for the railing, they ducked quickly to avoid being hit’ that is called the action beat.
When writing with a dialogue tag, always end it with a comma between the dialogue and tag:
Eg. “I’m starting to get the hang of this,” she said.
And when writing with just an action beat on the end you put a full stop. Like you’re punching a beat (dot) before the action beat.
Eg. “Ahhh, yeah, I get it now.” She nodded and crossed her arms across her chest with pride.
^^^ that’s a bit of extra fic writing advice there- just for if you’re trying to scratch up on grammar and stuff (which I suck at, hence why I’m learning as I go lol)