Monday, January 25, 2010

Include Actions with Dialog

“It is important to remember that conversations are more than just words. Both verbal and physical interactions take place between tow or more characters.” Greg Riley in “Get Into Your Character’s Head.” [Writers’ Journal, Jan/Feb 2010]
I reviewed some of my published stories, especially the early ones, before writing this post. I wondered if I interspersed physical interactions with my dialog. I’m happy to report I did. Instead of using said, I included character actions or internal thoughts with the dialog.

Most of the articles about dialog state dialog attributions should be limited to said. I understand this, because some authors get carried away with alternatives; and they get in the way of the story. Adding adverbs doesn’t improve this. When I rewrite a story, if a “said” sticks out to me; I replace it with an action. I "show" the reader through the character's actions that the words were "said sadly." Try this with our writing and see what happens.

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