Aunty Martha

This is a concept I have really struggled with.

Why can’t I say “she cried”?

Because why is she crying?

“Her eyes filled with tears and her heart was filled with joy.”

OK, so it wasn’t what you first thought, and if I had that she cried with joy, it doesn’t really tell you anything about how the character is feeling.  And “she cried” doesn’t give us enough information.

With editing OKQ&N I have noticed this more obviously and have been working on removing it.  And now that I see it, it sticks out!  How could I have not seen this before? Because my brain didn’t comprehend it.  It was a simple little line in a book that made me aware of what I was doing wrong.

It said

People’s facial expressions and body language reveal what they are feeling.  Imagine your character.  Then show rather tan tell your reader about the character’s feelings through their actions, reactions, dialogue and body language.

How to Write Stories, Celia Warren

I felt like such a ninny – because it was so bloody obvious!  – yip, I am a slow learner!  Showing you how the character feels gives you a more indepth look at your character.  She is crying, but why is she crying.  How is she feeling about crying?  Why does she want to cry?  Giving the reader something more to work with removes confusion as well.

I have finished the next round of chapters, Ch 10 – 12 and just printed out Ch 13 – 15.  Only two more rounds after this, and if I crack on today and this week, I should have them all finished by 6th September.

And I should hear from Entangled by the end of this week about Medusa’s Garden.  Fingers crossed that it is a positive response.   I have to admit I have checked my emails every day this month with some anticipation.  I guess this week will be the week.

Show don’t Tell!
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One thought on “Show don’t Tell!

  • August 28, 2012 at 6:52 am
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    Keeping my fingers crossed for you hon! Oh and YAY!!! I’m pleased you’ve figured it out now. Once you get it, show don’t tell seems simple, but getting it is actually really hard.

    Reply

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