Should I avoid using as?
And, to be clear, I mean it in this sense.
>‘They’ve seen me!’ yelped Beim, stifling a scream as he tried to yank himself up.
It seems incredibly awkward and cheap as a way of putting two actions in a sentence.
This is the kind of stuff I really struggle with.
Which of the two tweaks works better?
>‘They’ve seen me!’ yelped Beim, stifling a scream. He squeezed the rail and tried yanking himself out of the firing line...
>‘They’ve seen me!’ he stifled a scream and tried yanking himself up to safety.
The "as" doesn't always suck, but it sucks here. You also don't need that dialogue tag when you're using that exclamation point. like most readers, I'm a pervert, so "yank himself up" makes me think of masturbation. "Yank" is also incompatible with "stifling a scream". Try this instead:
>"They've seen me!" Beim stifled a cream, rising.
Beim is also a shitty name, personal opinion. Have a good reason for using snowflake names like that.