I think Said Bookisms are distracting, overwrought, and ridiculous, especially when used several times in one section. It makes the dialogue colourful, but the colour is purple
For example, let's rip apart Sand Josieph's proffered bit
It's extremely formulaic and the constant back-and-forth dialogue tags seem very silly to me ("Dialogue," she worded, doing something. "Dialogue!"). So let's knock some tags out!
"Electra, the experiment was a success!" exclaimed Junior, her boyish smile bold [...]
If you have an exclamation mark at the end of your dialogue, it's already obvious Junior "exclaimed" the words. Cut the tag— you can reword the end sentence to better lead in the action—something like, "Dialogue!" Junior smiled boyishly [...].
I'll grant you the next set of tags, "said" and "cooed," since the first is there for clarity and the second does describe a specific way of speaking. But then you have someone "smiling" their words *
. Although I'm not a stickler about "smiling" dialogue, I don't see why you used it here when you just said Electra grinned a sentence ago
Electra merely grinned with her razor sharp teeth and gave Junior a small electrified lick with her forked tongue.
"Good," smiled Electra as Junior giggled from the small jolt. "So, would you like to celebrate here or in the master bedroom?"
So much smiling! Just pull down the sentence starting "Electra merely grinned" and put it in front of her dialogue, the cut the tag entirely. If you must keep the mention of the jolt, put it in with the lead-in sentence.
And while we're on the subject of breathing/smiling/sighing words: You can just as easily say, "Blah blah." Junior sighed. "Blah!"
Gets rid of the silliness of "smiling dialogue" while keeping the tag break and the action.
You can easily cut the second "said Electra" there. It's a two person dialogue, and the other person just spoke; the audience knows who is talking.
: Last four paragraphs! Keep "breathed," although it's kind of a weak word— I think "gasped" might be better, but you already used it so oh well. I'd change the first "the mad scientist" to just "she"— less wordy, and again, it's obvious to readers who's speaking. "Prayed" is the wrong word— I think "pleaded" might be closer to your intention. For that matter, the dialogue here speaks for itself *
— you could probably just put in "groaned" or something, rather than beating it into our heads that "Don't stop" means Junior wants it to continue
. And for the final tag, again, just put a period instead of a comma and close it so it's not a tag. Nothing is gained by having it open, and it looks silly when it's not
Thus, from a section that had ten speech tags (a tag on every single line
), 6 of which were definitely Said Bookisms, we now have four tags, none of which are Said Bookisms.
Here's the version of the text with my changes in italics. I may be biased, but I think this version is less formulaic, less verbose, and more natural. It gives the audience some credit and cuts out extraneous words.
"Electra, the experiment was a success!" Junior smiled boyishly
as she and her mistress looked upon the abomination before them.
"And it survived for more than five minutes at that," said Electra, giving her assistant a playful twirl. "Shall we celebrate this monumentous occasion?" A glint of deviousness could be seen in the electrified eyes of the mad scientist.
"I'm all up for it, my mistress," cooed Junior, leaning into the chest of the taller girl's strong body.
Electra merely grinned with her razor sharp teeth and gave Junior a small electrified lick with her forked tongue. Junior giggled from the small jolt.
"Good. So, would you like to celebrate here or in the master bedroom?"
"Oh, here would be just fine." Junior sighed. "We
could even get some of the experiments going as we celebrate."
"Sounds like a plan, my little minion." Electra
tossed off an electrical charge at the guitar used to power their devices. The instrument gave off a wonderful twang! as the machines lit up around the sleek device.
"Oh my," Junior breathed, going slightly weak at the knees. Electra, without missing a beat, swung around the limp girl's body and slung her upon the operating table.
"No rest for the victorious!" She
laughed, picking up the guitar. "We've got work to do!" Another playful jolt from the girl's hands rocked Junior's world as the lights in the room thrummed from the notes played upon the guitar.
Junior gasped as the electrified air coursed through her body, making her shake with excitement. "Don't stop," she groaned.
"Keep going..." Electra merely smiled and set down the instrument. The lights began to dim as mad scientist approached her minion on the table.
"As you wish."
Electra smiled as she lay down beside her exhausted assistant. She placed her hands on the side of the girl's head and played with Junior's dreams on a sub-atomic level. "Sweet dreams my love, for we have much to do when you awaken..."
Whew, that was long. Again, sorry for dissecting your writing, SJ. I only rip to shreds because I care.