Thursday, February 17, 2011

Five Techniques for Showing vs. Telling

I have discovered wonderful help for showing vs. telling shared by Randy Ingermanson.
Today, I want to share it with you! 
Here are the five techniques to use and I've used them. They work! Thanks, Randy!

1)  Action - Anything your chracters do, shown in real-time.
                 Example:  Jake swung the bat into the kidnapper's head.

2) Dialogue - Anything your characters say, shown in quote marks.
                      Example: "Take that, you scurvy dog!"

3) Interior Monologue - Anything your characters think, whether a verbatim record of the thought or a   mere statement of it.  Verbatim thoughts, Randy says, are often shown in italics.
But indirect thoughts are not.

      Examples:  "And if you ever touch my daughter again, you're dead."
                 What were these idiots thinking, to mess with the daughter of a Navy Seal?

4) Interior Emotion - Anything your characters feel. This is best done by showing direct physiological
          reactions which can be directly interpreted as emotions. 
        Example:  Another rush of adrenaline boiled up in Jake's stomach.

5) Description - Anything your characters can see, hear, smell, taste or touch.
         Examples: Two gunshots rang in quick succession.
                         Cold air rushed over Jake like a river.
                         He smelled gunpowder so strong he could taste it.
                         The small red dot of a lazer aiming device raced across the floor
                          toward his feet.

Go and use this stuff!  Elva Cobb Martin