Last week Rita asked about ‘beats’ in dialogue. This was a term I had only seen used in plays or scripts when the author leaves a ‘beat’ before the character answers to create suspense.
It appears the term ‘beat’ has been applied by writers as a form of tag, only this tag drives the story forward with action or reveal character reaction.
A dialogue tag can be:
‘How dare you!’ she said.
It can also be:
She slammed the mug down on the table. ‘How dare you!’
In this case the action is the tag because it identifies the speaker and tells us how the character is feeling. And this is what people are calling ‘beats’. It is what I was told was an ‘action tag’ when I first started writing.
For a fuller explanation. . .
Read the rest here.
And here’s your official cat pic of the week: