Beets—I love beets. Webster’s dictionary defines beet as “a plant with a dark red fleshy root, used as food to produce sugar.” Yep, I love beets. Actually, I despise beets to the dark red fleshy root core. The kinds of beats I do love are writing beats. These beats could be dark red and fleshy if your character is chewing ravenously on a dark red and fleshy beet as he discusses the beets that are being ravenously eaten. Wow, that was a mouthful. I'm exhausted just from writing that. Tell me never to do that again. *Bad Sentence*
The writing beat describes a scene by providing imagery. The trick is to not overuse the beats. Make sure your reader can still use their own imagination while reading your story. You need not describe every little detail as depicted below:
“She walked over to the pay phone, opened the door, shuffled into the small space, wiped off the receiver because it was disgusting, pressed it to her ear, and dialed one number at a time until she heard the familiar ringtone.” That is overkill on the beats.
You still want to use them to livin up your scenes—bringing reality to your story. Here’s a scene from my book. It sort of won’t make sense without having read the book, but I find the imagery pretty great and want to share it as a TEASER. Yep, I’m mean not to give you more. Background: The scene is a part of a conversation between two of my characters—Pierre Rousseaux (the hero) and his police partner Luc Broussard (the funny-man of the story). Catch the beats as you read.
“Alright, but one thing Pierre.” Luc tripped, but steadied himself before he face planted it on the floor. “Oops,” he said in a deep voice, gazing sheepishly around the office. “Anyway, I’m not a professional at dating, but if I know one thing, it's that you are madly in love . . . Rousseaux, whatever happened between you two doesn’t matter.” Luc tripped again. “Damn it, can I even walk today. I might be the next lieutenant admitted to the hospital today. I can see it now, ‘The Embarrassment of the Department, Luc Broussard—Injured While on Duty—Cause, He Tripped.'” © Julia King 2011
The beats I used were short, hopefully illuminating your imagination to see the comical moment had during the conversation.
How do you like to use the beat or would you rather just eat beets?
Or do you love The Beets just as much as Doug from the Doug cartoon does? Watch the video below to find out more about some Killer Tofu.