I’d like to feature author Marcha Fox, today. The Rave Reviews Book Club and I would like to shine a spotlight on this talented writer, and also mine her writerly knowledge. Every writer who includes spoken dialog must come to grips with how often to use the word “said.” To be sure, it’s a bland word, but the opposite is to write horrific things like:

“No, way!” Biff ejaculated.

“Yes, way!” Joe-Bob blurted.

“Get out of here!” Biff riposted.

“Uh-uh,” Joe-Bob negated.

“You sure?” Biff asked.


Here to save us is the wise Marcha Fox. Help, Marcha!

-Guy Worthey, 12 October 2018

154 Ways to Say “Said” Instead of “Said”

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away — in other words, back in 1977 — my mom gave me a copy of the Readers Digest “Family Word Finder.” As you’ve probably figured out from its title, it’s a thesaurus and its age certainly a witness to how long I’ve been writing. I recently had that book out and discovered a typewritten (yes, typed, like in manual typewriter) list. It contained alternatives (but not quite synonyms) for using “said” in dialog. (BTW, I wrote my first novel on a manual typewriter.)

I remember having a lot of fun creating this list. However, there’s a caveat, especially if you’re addicted to words like myself. Granted, using these appropriately can contribute to imagery, emotion, and clarity. However, using them too frequently can be as grating as having “he said” or “she said” on every line.


In other words, like adding herbs and spices to a soup kettle, use them sparingly, as flavor enhancers, if you will. Be subtle, not glaring, which makes them all the more powerful. Used improperly or excessively, you could wind up with the literary equivalent of adding cinnamon instead of cumin to your chili. Properly administered, they’ll help create dynamic and convincing dialog, a critical component of outstanding fiction.

Without further ado, here we go:

  1. accused
  2. acknowledged
  3. added
  4. admitted
  5. advised
  6. affirmed
  7. agreed
  8. announced
  9. answered
  10. apologized
  11. argued
  12. asked
  13. asserted
  14. assured
  15. avowed
  16. babbled
  17. barked
  18. bellowed
  19. begged
  20. blubbered
  21. blurted out
  22. bragged
  23. breathed
  24. burst out
  25. cackled
  26. called
  27. cautioned
  28. challenged
  29. chattered
  30. chirped
  31. choked
  32. claimed
  33. chortled
  34. clipped
  35. coerced
  36. complained
  37. conceded
  38. concluded
  39. confessed
  40. confided
  41. consoled
  42. continued
  43. cooed
  44. corrected
  45. cried
  46. croaked
  47. decided
  48. declared
  49. demanded
  50. denied
  51. disclosed
  52. divulged
  53. drawled
  54. echoed
  55. emphasized
  56. estimated
  57. explained
  58. exploded
  59. figured
  60. gasped
  61. greeted
  62. groaned
  63. groused
  64. growled
  65. grumbled
  66. grunted
  67. guessed
  68. gulped
  69. hissed
  70. hinted
  71. hollered
  72. implied
  73. inquired
  74. intimated
  75. insisted
  76. instructed
  77. interjected
  78. interrupted
  79. iterated
  80. joked
  81. laughed
  82. lied
  83. maintained
  84. mentioned
  85. mimicked
  86. moaned
  87. mumbled
  88. murmured
  89. mused
  90. muttered
  91. offered
  92. ordered
  93. panted
  94. parroted
  95. pleaded
  96. pointed out
  97. pouted
  98. prayed
  99. probed
  100. proclaimed
  101. prodded
  102. promised
  103. proposed
  104. protested
  105. purred
  106. quipped
  107. rambled
  108. ranted
  109. recounted
  110. reiterated
  111. related
  112. relented
  113. retorted
  114. reminded
  115. repeated
  116. replied
  117. reported
  118. resolved
  119. returned
  120. revealed
  121. scoffed
  122. scowled
  123. screeched
  124. shouted
  125. shrugged
  126. sighed
  127. smirked
  128. snapped
  129. sneered
  130. sniffed
  131. snittered
  132. snorted
  133. sobbed
  134. speculated
  135. sputtered
  136. squeaked
  137. stammered
  138. stated
  139. stipulated
  140. suggested
  141. teased
  142. theorized
  143. threatened
  144. uttered
  145. vocalized
  146. volunteered
  147. vowed
  148. wailed
  149. warned
  150. whimpered
  151. whispered
  152. wished
  153. wondered
  154. yelled


Marcha’s Bio:

Marcha Fox is an avid science fiction fan and author with over 20 years’ experience in positions ranging from technical writer to engineer to manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in physics, which was but a prelude to her interest in the unexplained mysteries of the cosmos. Inspired by science fiction to pursue a career in a technical field, she hopes to instill the same fascination in young readers, while providing older ones with classic hard science fiction.

Born in Peekskill, New York she has lived in California, Utah and Texas in the course of raising her family, which included fifteen years as a stay-at-home mom before returning to college in her 30s to obtain her degree, a feat accomplished while she still had six children at home. All are now grown with children of their own providing her with 17 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren so far. Never at a loss for something to do, besides writing she’ a professional astrologer who enjoys gardening, her two Bengal cats and a sassy tuxedo, and keeping up with family.


Marcha’s latest:




Thyron is a flora peda telepathis (telepathic walking plant) from the planet Sapphira on an adventure gone terribly wrong. The bad decision of a human girl and her maniacal robot companion has stranded them on Earth, where his botanical cousins face horrible fates such as consumption by herbivores, incineration, and brutal annihilation for use as building material.

Following capture, Thyron is transported to Area 51, where NASA exobiologist, Gabe Greenley, studies his every move, ecstatic with the opportunity to examine an entirely new lifeform. In due course, the scientist makes a ground-breaking discovery, distressed by the fact he can never share it due to his security oaths and research agreement. Eventually, he’s confronted by an even worse ethical dilemma that forces him to make a treasonous and potentially deadly decision.

Will Thyron’s psychic powers be enough to save him? Is Greenley friend or foe? Or does the exobiologist have a few secrets of his own?

Find out in this unique combination of hard science fiction, suspense, and a touch of humor populated with memorable characters in a setting loaded with intrigue. Unexpected plot twists coupled with a unique ending make this an unforgettable tale whether you’re a science fiction fan, botanist, UFO aficionado, or simply enjoy a good story.

How to get in touch with Marcha:

Twitter: @startrailsiv

Facebook:  @marchafoxauthor

Website: https://www.startrailssaga.com

p.s., Read her books. They’re super. -GW

5 thoughts on “Guest Author Marcha Fox, her new book, and some advice about “said.”

  1. Hi Marcha. I’m going to have to bookmark your tour page so I can go back on some of these tours later. By the way, I have your book, just need time to read it. I hope its now way over my unscientific head. Lol.

    Thank you Guy for being a wonderful host.

    Liked by 2 people

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