Character Action

Another common use of Parenthetical is to describe what a character is doing while delivering a particular line. When used correctly, using Parentheticals for character action can be very effective. When used incorrectly, the character action Parentheticals appears bulky, clumsy, and unprofessional.

Small Actions:

Parentheticals may be used to convey small actions of a character while delivering a line.

Check this out:

Small, simultaneous actions can be placed within the Parenthetical, so long as the writer doesn't make a habit of it.

Misuse of Action:

However, too often, writers place actions within Parentheticals that would be better placed in Direction paragraphs.

Look at this example:


This is one of the most common misuses of Parentheticals. NONE of the Parentheticals in the above example are necessary, and their inclusion makes for amateur writing.

Let's rewrite the scene, but move the action into Direction paragraphs where it belongs:


Much better!