"Asseverated" is an abomination, yes, and while I believe that "said" is usually the best verb, I don't agree that the alternatives should never be used. "Lied" is fine if used in moderation, and sounds far less awkward than "said, but really meant otherwise".Elmore Leonard said:3 Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But "said" is far less intrusive than "grumbled", "gasped", "cautioned", "lied". I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with "she asseverated" and had to stop reading and go to the dictionary.
I can't see how naming your work makes everything easier At least I haven't noticed that.Roddy Doyle said:4 Do give the work a name as quickly as possible. Own it, and see it. Dickens knew Bleak House was going to be called Bleak House before he started writing it. The rest must have been easy.
I don't trust anyone who tells me not to read fiction I sort of understand the point, but I need reading like I need air. Funny that Sarah Waters's first rule is exactly the opposite.Will Self said:4 Stop reading fiction – it's all lies anyway, and it doesn't have anything to tell you that you don't know already (assuming, that is, you've read a great deal of fiction in the past; if you haven't you have no business whatsoever being a writer of fiction).