Dear Clueless One,
I have just finished my stand-alone historical fantasy in which pirates and mermaids team up to change the course of the Russian Revolution using only their wits, rusty sabers and sex appeal.
Beyond its obvious appeal in raising deep, philosophical questions about Communism, this book is the manifestation of my personal crusade against boring, lazy writing, taking aim at that infinitely overused phrase, “he said.” I am proud to tell you that I never once use “he said” in my book, ferreting out compelling facsimiles such as:
- he wholeheartedly yet heartrendingly exclaimed with a plaintive naivete that could draw tears from a mashed turnip, could they have obtained turnips, which they couldn’t because they were pirates who had been at sea for a really, really long time;
- she bellowed with the steely yet ladylike determination of sinuous seaweed that now overflowed the banks of the Moskva River with rampant yet implausible abandon;
- and the simple yet elegant *he ejaculated truculently.”
Noting that you used the phrase “she said” 2,914 times in your last – and might I point out only—novel, will you reform and join my Crusade?
To which I reply:
Sure. Why not? The plot of what was supposed to be my next book just imploded and I’m not in a good mood. Indeed, the prospect of committing writing suicide sounds quite alluring. Let’s all hold hands and jump. Off the gangplank. Into the depths of the seaweed-riddled Moskva River. She agreed with crazed alacrity.