Banish “said” from your vocabulary

‘I’m afraid she’s dead,’ unveiled the doctor. A silence settled on the room as the family took this in.
‘You’re sure?’ proclaimed Lois, quietly. The doctor nodded.
‘I’m terribly sorry,’ he conversed. ‘It was a peaceful end.’
‘Did she...’ Lois vocalised. ‘Did she have any last words?’
‘Yes,’ nodded the doctor, nodding. ‘She epitaphed a few words before she left us. “Tell my children I love them,” she stated. Then she recapitulated “all of them,” and shortly after that, she went.’
‘I can’t believe it,’ philosophised Lois. ‘I can’t believe she’s gone.’
‘I’m so terribly sorry,’ the doctor gushed.
‘Can I ask a question?’ questioned Lois.
‘Of course,’ dialogued the doctor.
‘If we had brought her in sooner,’ she began, ‘is there anything we could have done,’ she continued, ‘to give her more time?’ she concluded, questioningly.
‘I... I’m afraid not,’ the doctor ejaculated.

Commit to clich├ęs

‘Run like the wind!’ Olaf shouted. ‘The kind of wind that goes very fast in a certain direction, then changes course abruptly to avoid obstacles, whilst taking care not to let itself be caught by its pursuers!’
Anneke glanced over her shoulder. It literally felt as if her heart was in her throat – a thumping knot of muscle lodged just behind her tonsils, pumping blood around her body from its strange new position through arteries which presumably had been rerouted down her throat in some way. She ran as fast as she could, knowing that what pursued her was her worst nightmare – worse than finding herself back at school with no clothes on; worse than her teeth falling out in the middle of a business meeting; worse than not being able to understand what the man in the golden highchair was saying and then noticing that he has the face of her boss but sometimes it’s the face of her old piano tutor and she somehow knows without knowing how she knows that if she gets too close he will shout at her but the room is getting smaller and smaller and her shoes are too tight. It was worse than any of those things and was made even more terrifying by the knowledge that it wasn’t, in fact, a nightmare, but a real thing in her waking life. It was, however, a figurative nightmare, with all the concomitant emotional impact that description suggests (for which, see above).