Interesting, except the second part, “Said is Dead,” should be ignored. Don’t overdo adverbs in writing, they weaken it. When adverbs crop up, first try to find a stronger verb. (Instead of “ran quickly,” for example, one can use raved, dashed, sped, etc.)
The exception to this is “said.” One might think to resolve all those said-adverb combinations with a stronger verb denoting how a line was spoken - (“Shouted” instead of “said angrily” or some such) - but in reality, you want to AVOID this if at all possible.
Why? Because when we are immersed in a book, simple speech tags become invisible. Our eyes slide right over it, acknowledging who is speaking but otherwise ignoring the tag. The LAST thing we want to do is draw attention to speech tags. It makes the writing less immersive, reminds us we’re reading a book. I know, I know, you can point out any number of successful authors who use adverbs and other verbs for said all the time (J.K. Rowling is particularly egregious about it). But we aren’t successful authors yet, are we? So we need to do everything in our power to make our stories stand out, and strong writing is a GREAT way to do that.
So, if you still want to avoid throwing “said” into every line of dialogue, what do you do? First of all, double-check if you need it. Can you determine the speaker another way? If only to people are involved, chances are they’re alternating lines. Readers are smart; they can figure that out. You’ll probably only need tags if the pattern changes.
You can also use “beats” amid the dialogue. These are actions a character takes while speaking, and it’s very easy to slip names into them.
Another way to denote the speaker is in the WAY the words are spoken. Listen to the people around you. Some use perfect grammar, some don’t. Some favor certain contractions but avoid others. (“It’s not” vs. “It isn’t,” for example.) Consider the characters’ vocabulary. Is it complex or simple? Do they have an accent, or a verbal tic? (Though these should also be used sparingly, as they can really ruin things if poorly executed.)
The way a line is written can also indicate HOW it’s spoken. Exclamation points. Italics. Harsher language for anger. Stuttering for fear. There are innumerable ways to do so.
And y’know, sometimes there’s no getting around the adverbs and alternatives like shouted and whispered. Sometimes you need them. But make certain you KNOW you need them, first. ^_^
I was just about to roll up my sleeves and correct this post because I see it all the time and that “said is dead” image pisses me the fuck off, imagine my surprise and joy to see someone had beaten me to it. I’m so glad.