Hi Lucy. In my scripts, I tend to use 'Joe smiles', 'Frank nods' and other action between lines of dialogue. I use them to slow the pace of a scene but am guessing that they're probably frowned upon. Am I not giving the reader enough credit to gauge the pace for themselves? Thank you :-)

Andy Keen
Using actions like "nods" and "smiles" can be very prescriptive in scene description (or as parentheticals) and contribute to a phenomenon I call "false movement". Scenes become rather static and a series of moving body parts" eyesbrows raising, fingers wagging, mouths turning up and down. This is a bit dull and usually happens because a writer thinks they have to have EVERYTHING as an image (or bust), but in reality there's loads you can do instead. Scene description is scene ACTION, yes, but it also reveals character and pushes the story forwards. These articles, plus their linkage, will help advise you further on getting the most out of your scenes and description, good luck!
What is a static scene? http://www.bang2write.com/2010/05/screenplay-tips-1-static-scenes.html
3 tips to get rid of static scenes: http://www.bang2write.com/2013/01/3-tips-for-getting-rid-of-static-scenes.html
10 ways to revitalise your scene description: http://www.bang2write.com/2013/03/10-ways-to-revitalise-your-scene-description.html

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