- Aug 23, 2022
- Reaction score
Well, crap. I really have quite a bit of editing to do.Both are incorrect.
Again, as someone stated above, action beats are punctuated differently than dialogue tags. Dialogue tags have to do specifically with the way words are spoken: said, asked, shouted, whispered, mumbled, etc.
Action beats are not part of speech. You cannot "shrug" words. You don't necessarily have to break them into a separate sentence from the dialogue - e.g. "I'm not sure." He shrugged. or He shrugged. "I'm not sure." - but action beats must, at least, be set apart from the dialogue tag.
"I'm not sure," he said with a shrug.
"I'm not sure," he said, shrugging.
I have a feeling you've been punctuating action beats as dialogue tags for so long that it's become ingrained. It may take you a while to break the habit.
This is good to know. Thank you.