Sunday, July 23, 2006

SHOW DON'T TELL

One of the most common traps writers fall into is telling what a character feels, or does. It’s the lazy way out. It takes fewer words to say she felt hot, or she was beautiful, he was handsome, or he was angry.

If she felt hot, then it could be, her t-shirt clung to her skin, or her face flushed with heat, or both. If she was beautiful, it could be, every head turned as she walked down the street, cars driven by men became uncontrollable hunks of metal as their drivers swooned. Okay, some of this is over the top, but the fact is, it’s more interesting than she was beautiful, or she felt hot. Take the time to give the reader the ability to feel what’s going on, to experience the emotions, not just a flat read.

1 comment:

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