Friday, December 9, 2011

Common Problems (Part 12 of 50)

Insert beats (actions or gestures) #2. When we insert beats appropriately we make the dialog stronger or produce a dramatic effect. Too many sentences without a break give each of them the same emphasis.

Marcus said, "Everyone will die if we stay here. There is no place of safety. The enemy will surround us within the hour and shoot us without asking questions. None of you will have a chance unless I go alone to meet them."

Marcus says four things and there's nothing significant, but here it is again with a beat inserted.

"Everyone will die if we stay here. There is no place of safety," Marcus said. "The enemy will surround us within the hour and shoot us without asking questions. None of you will have a chance," he said, and took a deep breath, "unless I go alone to meet them."

By inserting Marcus said later in the paragraph and adding a beat, the end of the dialog gives readers a few seconds to absorb Marcus's words before the powerful final statement.

Carefully inserted beats
adds drama to my writing.

2 comments:

  1. Wow, that beat really made a difference - and where it is placed matters. Thanks for posting these hints. Heather

    ReplyDelete

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