Instead of whispered, consider:
- said in an undertone
- said low
- said into someone’s ear
- said softly
- said under one’s…
No. If somebody whispered something, they damn whispered it.
I hate these lists of “alternative words for ____ ” because they lead to people using words that have the absolute wrongconnotation.
Whispering is saying something quietly.
Murmuring is quiet, often muffled (in fanfiction, usually against someone’s skin during a porn scene), or more emotionally loaded dialogue has just been used and the character doesn’t really want to say it out loud.
Muttering generally implies distaste.
Mumbling is either drunken, sleepy, or embarrassed and is not whispering.
Breathing out words generally only happens when it is absolutely necessary that no one hear. That, or porn.
You don’t sighwords. You can yawn and speak, but I have yet to meet a person who can sigh and speak at the same time. Until I can find proof of such a being, I will not be pleased by use of “sigh” or “sighed” as a dialogue tag.
Hissing means you are either part-snake, or you want someone’s attention, or you are angry and in a place where neither you nor your dialogue partner are allowed to be conversing.
“Mouthing” words generally is done from a distance and is generally a sign of foul play in the works. Otherwise, you are mouthing blasphemies and your lover’s name against zer skin.
Uttered? Uttered? Really? That is a synonym for said, not whispered, and is usually used with magic and doom, i.e. “He uttered the words of the exorcism with purpose: Exorcizamus te omnis immundus spiritus…”
Intoned is like uttered. Intoning is more forceful.
Susurrated? Honestly, if you use that in a piece of fiction for anything, ever, unless you’re using it to describe the sound angel wings make when they manifest onto the human plane, you fail. Just, you commit the sin of purple prose and need to go sit down. And Google Chrome doesn’t even recognise it as a word.
Purred is either for satisfied catpeople or for lascivious preludes to porn.
“said in an undertone”? Are you fucking kidding me? An undertone is, as should be made obvious from the fact that the prefix is under and the root is tone, the emotion underneath the words being spoken. i.e. “He smiled, but his next words had an undertone of intense disdain.”
Gasping is like sighing in reverse, but I’ll let it pass…only when you’re gasping in surprise or because you’re being well-fucked.
Hinting has nothing to do with the volume of someone’s words.
You would never say “said low.” Perhaps you meant “said lowly,” but that’s also not a good alternative. Saying something lowly generally happens in fanfic porn with dirty talk.
I should hope that that “someone” in “said into someone’s ear” is a placeholder. A pronoun would have been more useful, but “said into his ear” does work, if your characters are in close quarters. Beware of unintentional UST, though.
Saying something softly usually means that it’s an emotionally charged thing being said. Or it’s the morning after porn.
Saying something under your breath is like muttering.
Saying something in hushed tones means that there are others around to hear what you are saying, and you don’t want them to.
Insinuating is the same damn thing as hinting, but with a more negative connotation.
/steps down off of writers’ soapbox.
…I just really care about proper usage of words, okay?
Ladies, gents and writers, I implore you to read the above comment. Thoroughly.