Demystifying “Show vs. Tell” with Simple Tricks to Showing with Mica S. Kole

Craft Demystifying “Show vs. Tell” with Simple Tricks to Showing with Mica S. Kole

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The “Show vs. Tell” rule of writing is as important as it is ambiguous. This presentation will briefly go over the rule, and go on to offer concrete, small-scale tips to help you avoid “Telling” and create a more visceral and engaging draft.

With this session, you'll learn to see behind the veil of the "Show vs. Tell" rule, with tricks ranging from dropping filter verbs to using tone words to verb reassignment within your sentences. The session will also include examples to hammer these rules home, so that you can see the difference between a story rich in inference, and a story handed over on a silver platter.
Outline: Show Vs. Tell
  • What it is
  • Telling Example
  • Showing Solution (Each tip comes with examples:)

Tip #1: Use Verbs
• Displaying emotions
o Avoid state-of-being verbs like “was” or “became.”
o Avoid filter words like “felt” or “saw.”
o Let the emotions themselves perform the action
o Choose the right verb to cut unnecessary words

Tip #2: Use Characters
• Drop Redundant Modifiers
• Use Senses (smell, sound, taste)
• Use Sensations and Memories to Depict Emotion
o How or what do they feel physically?
o What are they reminded of?
o What do they do in reaction to their emotion?

Tip #3: Use Metaphors
• Avoid listy settings
• Personification (make objects “perform” verbs)
• Compare objects, colors, people, actions
o Examples of each
• Drop adjectives and compare people to objects

Tip #4: Use Actions
• Start every scene with a character, action, and setting happening in real time
o Avoid ambiguous trails of information, memories, or thoughts. Be concrete.
• Replace “Has/Had” perfect tense with action or dialogue in real time
• Imply
o Wording/common phrases with known associations
o Related verbiage
o Dialogue tags
• Have characters act and react
o Often gets missed inside dialogue

Tip #5: Use Setting
• Weave the setting into the narrative
• Evoke atmosphere

Tip #6: Stronger Verbs and Tone Words
• Give objects verbs
• Avoid “was/were/is”
• Evoke atmosphere, tone, and situation with the right tone words Q&A
Mica S Kole
Start date
Sep 14, 2018 at 10:51 PM
End date
Sep 16, 2018 at 4:00 PM
Registration end date
Sep 16, 2018 at 12:00 AM
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