1. Funny Bunny
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    Funny Bunny Contributing Member

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    Does anyone understand "Beats?"

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Funny Bunny, Sep 20, 2007.

    In various articles I have come across the term "Beats" in fiction writing. I have not come across a definition. I've looked quite a few places for some explanation. I think it is different for novels or fiction than it is for poetry or music writing. Has anyone heard of this? Perhaps there are some writing teachers out there who know?

    thanks FB
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I wasn't familiar with the term, so I did a search. What I came up with was this:
    From Tips for writing effective dialogue in fiction. The page also gives examples.

    Basically it's another way of showing rather than telling, tailored to dialog. Instead of telling the reader who said what line, you indicate it by showing the other person reacting to what was just said.
     
  3. jj3125
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    jj3125 Member

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    i understand now. use them all the time. didnt know there was a word for it.. i thought it was just making the scene.
     
  4. Funny Bunny
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    thanks, I use them more than speech attributions. Like jj3125 , I didn't know that was called anything special. For some reason I thought they were pauses, or words that rhymed or something like the "beat poets"
     
  5. SAGMUN
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    SAGMUN Member

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    A BEAT, smallest element of structure, is an exchange of behavior in action/reaction. Beat by Beat these changing behaviors shape the turning of a SCENE.

    From:

    part 2: The Element of Story
    2. The Structure Spectrum pgs. 31 to 42
    Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee, Harper Collins., © 1997

    The best book I've read on writing.
     

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