SHOW DON’T TELL

If you’re a writer, you know I’m not talking about things your partner says to you in the bedroom. Pah-lease, don’t get me started on that! I’m talking about the ever important sentences explaining your character’s emotions. This lures the reader into the characters head feeling the moment with them, instead of being told how they feel.

Telling: Anna was excited about going outside after seeing the sun shine through the window.

Showing: The sun beamed through the window of the door, warming Anna’s face. Her eyes sparkled as she reached for the knob and unlocked the bolt in a rush. Darting outside, she spread her arms allowing the sun’s rays to bathe her.

Sometimes it’s hard to think of ways to describe emotion, especially without using clichés. (I know, I know.) Although some overused phrases will be tolerated, most readers yawn if they see them used over and over in your writing, so get creative. A friend, Natasha Neagle, told me about a wonderful book to help authors. It’s called THE EMOTION THESAURUS by Angela Ackerman. And because I was too daft to think about it myself, I needed another friend, Susan Roebuck, to tell me to visit Angela’s website because she offers a lot of freebie advise. Her site is called Writers Helping Writers.

Show all three of these wonderful authors some love and follow their websites, maybe even buy a book or two! (That was a shameless plug that none of them asked me for. But ladies, I’ll gladly except cheese as payment on future sales resulting from this post. Just sayin’)

Seriously though, following writers that share the knowledge of things that often took them months or years to learn is always worth a new authors time. Research and follow those that interest you, or those that write in the same genre and category as your stories.

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA Fiction

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