Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Common Problems (Part 13 of 50)

Insert beats (actions or gestures) #3. Adding too many beats makes the writing tiresome and destroys emotional emphasis.

"You know I've always loved you." Carrie laid her hand on Bruce's arm. "If you leave me now, I don't know what I'll do." Her eyes moistened. "I've never known anyone who makes me feel the way you do." She stared into his pale brown eyes. "Don't send me away." The tears cascaded down her cheeks.

In this paragraph the constant insertion of gestures jars readers away from her words. I thought of the word overwrought. Carrie is moving so much the words bear no impact.

Too many beats destroy the emotional impact.
One beat to a paragraph is usually enough.

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