Today’s Writing Tip

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Do you fully understand what it means to show versus tell? Your reader should experience the story through the eyes of your characters, up close and personal, not as an observer from afar.

When you tell a story, there is little to no reader engagement at the emotional level. They may be able to sympathize with the character or relate story action to their own experience, but they do not feel as if they’re part of the story or that they really know the characters.

Showing involves rendering the same feeling in your reader as your character is experiencing, whether it’s love, joy, fear, sadness, grief, anger, etc. You are not going to be able to do this with a single word or sentence. If you ever find yourself using the word “feel” in any of its conjugations, stop right there. For example, saying, “He felt angry” simply doesn’t do it. However, if you describe how he really felt, such as his heart rate increasing, hands shaking, mind racing, tension in his muscles, or thinking that he might explode, then you’re showing.

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