Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tuesday's Links to Writing & Marketing Blog Posts

By: A. Beckert

Creating rich dialogue requires a variety of tools. Action tags and beats turn dialogue from a flat exchange into a multi-sensory experience. They incorporate the wide range of human communication by allowing for nonverbal cues, sensory detail, and indirect characterization during a verbal exchange.

Action Tags

Often defining a tool is easier when you point out its context. An action tag belongs to the tool group of dialogue tags.

Dialogue tags are used to supply necessary information about the line of dialogue, including who said it, why it was said, how it was said, and sometimes to whom it was said. These make up for the particular challenge of not actually seeing the exchange, which would instantly convey these crucial contextual details.

Descriptive tags are an expanded dialogue tag. The go-to simple tag is “he said”/”she said”. A descriptive tag adds some descriptive information, like an adverb (“…,” he said icily.) or a descriptive phrase (“…,” he said, his expression distant.). This tag can also describe something about the setting for the interaction, or some other enlightening detail.

Action tags expand the dialogue with movement, action, or demonstrative behavior. Swapping description for action boosts the “show” factor, reducing incidents of simply “telling” a character’s emotion. Consider how different emotions or internal processes look from the outside. These often come up as action tags:

“…,” he said, picking at a scratch on the table.
“…,” she said, looking him up and down with a sour curl in her frown.
“…,” he sang, rising up on his toes at the high note.

Unique actions by a character turn these visual communication cues into valuable characterization tools too. People have certain ticks, habits, or preferences. What you show your character doing contributes to a cumulative picture of who they are. A character who drums their fingers when happy, swipes on their phone screen like slashing with a sword, or doodles on legal documents has more color than characters who simply nod, grimace, or smile when they speak. Get creative.
Action Beats

. . .

To read the rest of the post, click here:


If you missed my latest writing and marketing tweets, here they are again:
  • 6 Reasons “Show Don’t Tell” Can be Terrible Advice for New Writers | Anne R. Allen's Blog... with Ruth Harris http://ow.ly/Z9IXl
  • 3D Dialogue With Action Tags And Beats | The Art Of Stories http://ow.ly/Z9Jbk
  • Finding Your Best Beta http://ow.ly/Z9KlM #writetip #amwriting
  • Catapult | To the Quick | http://ow.ly/Z9KDT “Once I started focusing solely on lowering the word count, everything looked baggy.”
  • 6 Hot Tips for Putting Soul Into Your Setting + A Contest | Pub(lishing) Crawl http://ow.ly/Z9L5f
  • 10 Tips To Writing From Multiple POVs | Writers In The Storm http://ow.ly/Z9Laa
  • Rainmaker Rewind: How to Stir Up Reader Interest by Dishing Out Your Ideas - Copyblogger http://ow.ly/Z9LhS
  • Feed Your Readers: Favorite Foodblogging Advice | The Daily Post http://ow.ly/Z9Lnd
  • #40: Take Charge of Your Writing Space, Tasks, and Projects - Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach http://ow.ly/Z9Lsd
  • How Story Structure Relates to Our Lives | A Writer's Path http://ow.ly/Z9Lyy
  • How Writers Can Create Continuity in Showing the Passing of Time | Live Write Thrive http://ow.ly/Z9LEd
  • Save Time with Draft2Digital - Elizabeth Spann Craig http://ow.ly/Z9LHG
  • What’s Your Reaction to Facebook Reactions? | Blogging Bistro http://ow.ly/Z9LR4
Happy writing and running, Kathy

No comments: