Saturday, 2 November 2013

Show Vs. Tell: Round 2

You can always go one step back or forward along the show/tell spectrum. Sentences aren’t dichotomous. It isn’t as simple as one sentence shows and the other tells, but more to do with how much a sentence shows and how much it tells. For example:

He was angry -> he frowned -> his eyebrows pulled together into an angry look.

Where you need to be on the spectrum depends on the importance of the imagery. Is the character’s ghastly frown a pivotal moments or a strong feature of characterisation? Or is it just a quick frown like a passing thought which adds to the scene in a less imposing manor? Sometimes you may feel like you’ve already gone as far down the spectrum as needed and someone will tell you to go further – you need to decide how much showing adds to the story and if it can be told better.

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On a side note, the workload for my degree is getting pretty heavy right now. I’ll aim to put out one post a week until it loosens up, although I already have a few more ‘show don’t tell’ posts prepared for you guys. They may be shorter than usual, but I’d rather keep putting out good posts than rushed essays which might be as helpful.