Thursday, March 6, 2008

Using beats to Show

When writing dialogue, try mixing up your use of beats with speaker attributions. When you just have to define the speaker, be creative, take it as an opportunity to show us readers something more about your character.

Instead of:
"I have to go, now." Lily said.

What about this:
"I have to go." Lily fluttered her hands while turning to leave. Over her shoulder, she added, "Sorry, duty calls."

The second one gives me a sense of Lily's frustration and urgency, along with a visual action that gives some characterization as well.

What do you think? Is it better, or is there even a better way?

Pressing onward,



patti said...

Yes, the showing is definitely better.
Great blog!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Thanks, Patti. Glad to see you visited and left a comment too. I'm so blessed to have you as a critique partner. I'm off to praise the Lord for you, once more.