You set up a scene (by describing where it takes place, who’s there and so forth) and the next thing you know, it’s mostly dialogue. After a few exchanges, the reader has forgotten about the surroundings and is left with talking heads. How do you create a fully three-dimensional scene?
Writing Tip for Today: Improve your scene writing skills by using these two techniques: Weaving Beats and The Rule of Three.
- Weave concrete sensory details (CSD), emotional beats and action around your dialogue. Instead of dialogue attributions (he saids), add a beat (phrase or sentence) of CSD around the spoken lines. EX: Gail tossed the file onto the detective’s desk. “I got our guy to sing. I hope you’re satisified.” Sweat trickled down her neck in the stifling office. “I nearly got myself killed, but I got it.”
- Remember the Rule of Three. If a character speaks 3 lines of dialogue or there are 3 exchanges of dialogue, consider breaking up the spoken words by Weaving Beats into the conversation.