What is the easiest way to show the talking of your characters? The most effective and least obtrusive dialog tag is by far "Said." Excessive use of "said," however, can lead with little expression to a boring and monotonous dialogue. You must use certain words as required to add the requisite emotion or flavor to the scene.
In a suspenseful scene where the characters have to be careful not to be heard, "said" is certainly not as appropriate as "whispered." Similarly, in a heated, emotionally charged struggle between lovers, "shrieked" or "hollered" conveys the scene much more effectively than "said." If you need something more expressive than "said," but you're not sure what the perfect word for your situation is, this detail. Here are 476 "said" alternatives.
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