Life Coach Magazine

Show Vs. Tell

By Writerinterrupted @writerinterrupt

Here’s a little excerpt on “Showing vs. Telling”  from my new novel writing workbook.

Readers want to be transported to another world and to experience the characters thoughts, actions, and emotions. If you don’t hook your readers (draw them into the story so they can’t escape,) they may get bored and not care about your character or what happens to her. When it comes to hooking your reader it’s important to avoid telling them what’s happening by a lot of narrative (where your main character sits and ponders what’s going on…) To hook your reader, you want to get to the action fast. You want to engage them through emotions in the story. The best way to involve them is to show them what’s happening!

So how do you know if you’re showing instead of telling? The best way to illustrate this is with emotion. Instead of telling the reader “he was angry,” show what anger looks like.

He stomped his feet and huffed off.
He slammed the table with his fist.

Instead of telling the reader “she was happy,” show it.

Her smile was as wide as the Grand Canyon.

How would you show sad?

Tears rolled down her cheeks as she hugged the pillow close to her chest.

What about this sentence? She was so sad she thought she might die.

Not bad, but it’s still telling. Remember what I taught about passive vs. active writing? Using passive words is lazy writing. Most telling uses helping verbs and in the sentence you will find the name of the emotion.

Your turn: Go to your WIP. Find where you name the emotion (sad, happy, angry,) then try to show it instead. If you’re finding it hard to show/describe the emotion this is where you’ll have to dig deep into your own experience.

You may not have had the same experience as your main character, but you have had the same emotions. Happy, sad, angry, jealous, lonely, scared are universal feeling. You just need to ask yourself “what do I do when I’m sad? How do I feel (what happens in my body) when I’m angry.” Then use your words to paint a picture so the readers can feel what you want them to feel.

Look for my Release the Novel in You workbook in June 2016!

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Big Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy in China

    Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy China

    Coca-Cola is at it again. As soda sales decline in the United States and Europe, beverage companies look to emerging economies like China for growth. And, it... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dietdoctor
  • Jewellery for a Precious You

    Jewellery Precious

    Jewellery is always close to a woman’s heart. It completes her look and boost confidence. Considering the changing trends in jewellery fashion, it becomes... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dr.jenifer Sayyed
  • Rajshri Productions’ Next Is A Film On Friendship | Hum Chaar | Trailer

    Abhishek Dixit’s debut feature film Hum Chaar is a Bollywood film made under the banner of Rajshri’s film. Hum Chaar is written and directed by Abhishek Dixit. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
  • Saint Paul the First Hermit

    Saint Paul First Hermit

    Today is the feast day of Saint Paul the hermit. This is a sweet and delicate Oatmeal Bread topped with rolled oats and naturally sweetened with agave. Saint... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Veronica46
  • Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu | Teaser | Pranav Mohanlal | Arun Gopy

    Arun Gopy’s Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu is an upcoming Malayalam action-drama feature film starring Pranav Mohanlal and Zaya David in the lead roles. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
  • A Year Of Body Positivity

    Year Body Positivity

    Last January, as I sat there on New Years eve all set to make the same old resolutions I've made year after year for as long as I can remember, I realised how... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Sparklesandstretchmarks
  • Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – Jan 2019

    Garden Bloggers Bloom 2019

    Euphorbia rigidaWhen I went out to take the photos for this blog post I was surprised at how much was in flower dotted around the garden. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Patientgardener