Ana talks about Beats in writing
In Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Browne and King define “beats” as “the bits of action interspersed through a scene, such as a character walking to a window or removing his glasses and rubbing his eyes—the literary equivalent of what is known in the theater as “stage business. Usually they involve physical gestures, although a short passage of interior monologue can also be considered a sort of internal beat.”
Too many “beats” can describe in too much detail what a character does down to the last detail. The details are longer than the dialogue, so the repartee of the dialogue is too slow, maybe even lost.
Too few “beats” means a section of dialogue lacks anchoring, in both setting, action and who is speaking.
So what’s the right balance?
1. “Beats allow your readers to picture your dialogue taking place.”
2. “Beats” jumpstart a reader’s imagination.”
3. “Beats” define the action without overdefining it.”
“One situation that almost requires a beat is when your dialogue changes emotional direction—when your character drops a pretense, say, or has a sudden realization in the middle of a line.”
Try to edit out repeated beats. Make sure your characters aren’t repeatedly smiling or grinning; looking into each other’s eyes; staring at their hands.
Make each beat illumine the POV character. If their movements, reactions, or inner thoughts are unique to them, this will define their individual personalities and make them come alive in the reader's mind.