|Show Don't Tell||| Print ||
|Written by Christine Redding|
|Saturday, 01 October 2011 14:21|
Page 1 of 4
Show, Don't Tell
This is one of the biggest reasons why a submission gets rejected within the first few pages: the writer does not have a grasp of this basic concept of writing a good story.
The term we use, with respect, is 'story-teller' and perhaps that is what leads us astray when we first decide to shift a story from our heads to an audience.
You cannot engage the senses of the reader if you simply tell a story from your head.
Of course the head has its uses, mainly to organize and manage the ideas and scenes, the process of conveying the story. The head makes sure all the details are there, in the most useful places. From the head comes the armature on which the story itself hangs. It is the outline, the blueprint, the treatment: It is not the story itself.
To engage the heart, the senses, and the belief of the reader, the writer must shift out of the head: Write from the heart, the senses and belief, to breathe life into your creation.
Telling is talking about the characters and actions, telling the reader what to see, what to think, what to expect. And it hands all the answers to the reader, takes all the fun out of reading, the bits where the reader puts the puzzle together, discovers the answers, and enjoys those 'aha!' moments.
Showing is about leading the reader to certain awarenesses, realizations, conclusions, by the senses. It requires trusting the reader, and allowing them to do their part, without making it too easy for them.
The relationship between reader and writer is one of the few where emotional manipulation is not only all right, but a consensual necessity.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 November 2011 08:30|