Thursday, January 10, 2019
#Tirgearr author shares about SHOWING NOT TELLING--we all need reminding! #amwriting #romanticsuspense -- don't let lazy writing slip in!
How can writers make a reader’s experience authentic? Show not tell, and that works to immerse readers into a fictional world. Make their experience real enough for them to keep turning pages.
One technique the writer can make use of to create reality out of fiction is to induce emotion in readers, make them feel something of what the characters are experiencing. Writer and reader know the fictional events aren’t real, but the emotion can be. Readers can fear and feel joy and be excited and know grief. They can laugh and cry, shiver and rage. All from reading your story.
But how can a writer accomplish this? How does a writer make readers feel emotion? The number one way is showing rather than telling. That is, don’t report that a character is afraid or giddy or grieving. Show the results of character emotions through the character’s actions. Show what fear or giddiness or grief does to him. Character action and response is a good place to focus.
This is a major key for rousing reader emotions. No one gets emotional over a report. They do get emotional when they can step into someone’s shoes and experience his or her feelings as if those feelings were churning inside them.
A report: Jolene was afraid to open the door to the basement steps. She stood at the far side of the kitchen, debating what to do.
Showing: Jolene’s hand trembled as she reached for the locked doorknob. Jimmy had warned her not to open the basement door when he wasn’t around, but he was due home soon, so what could happen? She bit her lip and tightened her fingers around the cold knob. A shiver shook her. She inhaled only a shallow breath and then struggled for another.
And nearly shot through the ceiling when the microwave dinged, letting her know her tea was hot.
Isn’t it more fun to write this way—showing and not telling?
At the moment I'm finishing the third book in my Donahue Cousins Series with Tirgearr Publishing. You'd better believe I'll go back and look for lazy telling before submitting.
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