“Never use a verb other than ‘said’ to carry dialogue. Never use an adverb to modify the verb ‘said’…he admonished gravely.” – Elmore Leonard
“Action expresses priorities.” – Gandhi
“Plot is what happens. Action is how it happens.” – Dean Koontz (How To Write Best-Selling Fiction)
“Characters in novels sometimes radiate more energy, therefore, when we don’t enter their mind. It is one of the techniques a novelist acquires instinctively—don’t go into your protagonist’s thoughts until you have something to say about his or her inner life that is more interesting than the reader’s suppositions.” – Norman Mailer (The Spooky Art: Thoughts on Writing)
1.) They Say My Dialogue Is Weak. What Do I Do? – by Emma Darwin
2.) The Dos and Don’ts of Dialogue Tags – by Ryan Lanz
3.) Dialogue Rules: Punctuating and Formatting Dialogue Like a Pro – by Reedsy
4.) Inner Dialogue – Writing Character Thoughts – by Beth Hill
1.) Tips For Writing Action Scenes – by Ginny Wiehardt
2.) Here’s How To Write A Damn Good Fight Scene – by Robert Wood
3.) How to Write a Fight Scene – by September C. Fawkes
4.) Writing movement and action in dialogue: 6 tips – Jordan at Now Novel
5.) Writing Tips: Character Movement – K.M. Shea
1.) Write a scene between three people that mixes dialogue and action to convey a conflict, theme, mood, and/or setting. Use as few dialogue tags as possible. Use action, thoughts, and observations to help show who’s speaking.
2.) Write three characters talking together with minimal action where something is at stake for the viewpoint character, something they will either gain or lose. Remember to use your dialogue tags appropriately. OR write a scene about first love where a character is frightened of their feelings for their first newborn baby, or the romantic love they know is “the one”, or love for a family member or friend who is terminally ill. They are scared of the intense feelings, but also scared to express those feelings to the other person.
3.) Write a scene from the point of view of a character who has just been betrayed and is confronting the character who betrayed them. Then rewrite the same passage from the betrayer’s point of view.