Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Caroline Trussell Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/20/2024
  • Jenna Satterthwaite Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/10/2024
  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/26/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.

Tip Tuesday #149

Tip Tuesday features writers' tips on craft, research, querying, blogging, marketing, inspiration, and more. If you'd like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

Natalie here today. Today we have a tip from Sherry Soule who is a published author (a blurb about her book is at the end of her tip) and blogs at Fiction Writing Blog. Be sure to check out her blog.

So here's Sherry.

I write a popular series on writing description for my Fiction Writing Blog, and I’ll share one of those tips today.
One of my pet peeves is the overuse of dialogue and action (gestures and facial expressions) tags that get used so much they've become stale and cliché. Use your imagination and try to be more creative and limit your use of certain gestures and expressions that are commonly abused in fiction. You may not even be aware of them, but I bet you will be now.
One method that helps, and you may feel silly doing it, is to act out the scene. Think about how you personally would react. Remember, that women are more expressive and animated than men, and most men are reserved and less emotional. Women talk with their hands and generally, men do not. Writers can SHOW the reader more effectively what’s going on or even what’s not being said by including a significant percentage of dialogue beats in their scenes, as long as they are original. Or turn common generic tags into fresh ones. Hope my advice helps!
Here's a blurb about Sherry's book, BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN:

Thirteenth Daughter. Heritage Witch. Demon Slayer.
They say every town has its secrets, but that doesn’t even begin to describe Whispering Pines. The townsfolk are a superstitious lot and the mystical disappearance of a local teen has everyone murmuring about a centuries old witch’s curse. . .
Sixteen-year-old Shiloh Ravenwolf is a heritage witch from the Broussard family, a family both destined and cursed. After she takes a summer job at Ravenhurst Manor, she discovers a ghost with an agenda. That’s where she meets the new town hottie, Trent Donovan. But Trent may be the next victim on the supernatural hit list, and Shiloh is the only person with the power to save him.
Complicated much?
After receiving cryptic messages from a creepy wraith, and then frightening threats from a demon, Shiloh finally begins to understand the mysterious significance of the strange mark branded on her wrist. Now Shiloh must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to protect the other teenagers in town.
Unfortunately, for Shiloh, not all ghosts want help crossing over. Some want vengeance.

And you can find Sherry at:



Anonymous said...

I liκe the vаluablе infοrmation you ρrοvіde foг yοur articles.
Ι will booκmагk yοur
wеblog аnd tаκe a lоok
at agaіn гіght hеre frеquеntly.
ӏ'm moderately sure I will be informed a lot of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!
Here is my blog post : View Web Page

Jeanette Pekala said...

I do find myself unconsciously using frequently used gestures and actions. This article was a good reminder to try to keep it fresh. Acting out the scene may make you look like a crazy person but it helps make the scene feel real and believeable. Great article!

MeganC said...

Ha, ha! I'm so glad to hear there are other nuts out there that act out their dialouge. I totally do that!

Lisa Gail Green said...

Great tip! It's always tough but important to push beyond the cliche and dig deep for something better!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

One more thing I need to look for when editing!

S. A. Soule, Creativity Coach said...

Hi everyone! Here's a link to my post. It might help give you some creative ideas. ;-D


P J O'Leary said...

Good ideas. I find my characters doing a lot of the same gestures and I know I need to fix that. Usually I run the scenes in my head, but maybe acting them out would be a good aid. Think I'll try that during my revision work.

The Pen and Ink Blogspot said...

Great tip. Acting out a scene really helps even if you simply act it out in your mind.

Stina said...

This is why I love the Emotion Thesaurus. It helps keep the writing fresh. :D

Great tip, Sherry!

Theresa Milstein said...

Great reminder. It's hard to say what's the right amount, but I know it when I read it!

Anonymous said...

Rank your Youtubе Videoѕ at httρ://yоutubеrankіng.
top-іnfοrmation.net/ -> Just $5 a Video!
my page - weight loss

Dorine White said...

That is a real problem. Sometimes that first draft is so full of cliches it hurts :)Thank goodness for edits.

Gina Gao said...

This is a great tip! I really liked this post.


Donna K. Weaver said...

That's always the challenge, isn't it? Happy Thanksgiving!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great tips! Wow, your books sounds super! I'm putting it on my TBR list.

-blessed holy socks, the non-perishable-zealot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lydia Kang said...

I hadn't heard of this book. Thank you both! And I totally agree on the advice. I think it's a sign of a novice writer, when the author must feel like they have to tell every single movement and moment in each scene.

Christina Farley said...

Love ghosts stories! Thanks for pointing this one my way.

LTM said...

EXCELLENT advice! I agree on overuse of dialogue tags. Not only is it irritating, it breaks the flow of the conversation. I'd say consider not using them so much! I've also heard of this book. Sounds great! Thanks, guys~ :o) <3

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog and it's too bad you're not continuing on with Tip Tuesday. Seems like a good series. However, I am hoping that you will still be able to help me out. I just started blogging and I want to automatically send new posts to my social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). I notice that you both use Facebook. I was wondering if you use any apps that will automatically do this for you? Thanks so much!

For the Love of YA said...

I wish you would do more tips! I'm trying to revamp my blog (went on hiatus after my last child) and would love to learn how to get more followers as I start this thing back up. Tip Tuesday seems rocking! I'll bookmark this page and cruise through your other posts.