Thursday, 19 September 2013

How to Change Telling into Showing by Jessica Bell

When I first started to write fiction and send my manuscripts out for feedback, the first and most frequent thing my readers said was SHOW, DON’T TELL.

"Okay. So how do I go about that?" I thought. "I’m not sure I understand how you can’t see it happening when I’m telling you it’s happening. What’s the difference?"

After years and years honing the craft of the elusive "show, don't tell" rule, I thought it would be a good idea to write a book that helped YOU do the same.

Here's a scene that is completely telling:
Tamara and Fran are having lunch at a cafĂ©. They are seated outdoors. But it seems useless meeting at all when Fran is so flighty. It’s ridiculously frustrating talking to Fran when she’s like this—off in her own little world. She doesn’t even acknowledge what’s being said when Tamara raises her voice! Perhaps she’s in love.

Okay, can you identify which things we could be showing here?

What I think we can show here are the following attributes:
flightiness
frustration
(be) in love
self-importance

So with this in mind, let's bring this scene to life with some showing:
“Can you pass the salt?” Tamara holds out her hand.
“Hmm?” Fran hums and looks across the road at the kids playing Frisbee.
“Hun? The salt.” Tamara glances at the kids, screws up her nose, and contorts her mouth to the left.
“Oh. Right.” Fran passes the ketchup.
Tamara groans and reaches across the table for the salt. As she leans over her plate, her blouse dips into the mayonnaise.
“Crap! I need a serviette.” Tamara points at the napkin holder. Francine is resting her chin in her palm, squinting at the sky, giggling to herself.
Christ.
“Fran!” Tamara bangs her fist on the table. Crockery rattles.
Fran’s smile fades as she jolts upright. “Huh? What’s wrong?”
Tamara stands, scrapes her seat backward, reaches for a serviette, and shakes her head. “I can’t count on you for even the simplest of things, can I?”
Francine blinks.
Tamara dips a serviette into her glass of soda and rubs it on her breast. “So. Who’s the guy?”
“Tammie?” Francine sighs. “Have you ever wondered why we only see yellow butterflies in this area of town?”

What do you think? Would you have written something similar? Can you pinpoint how I've shown these specific attributes? Tell me in the comments.

Biography:
If Jessica Bell could choose only one creative mentor, she’d give the role to Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyrics. This is not only because she currently resides in Athens, Greece, but because of her life as a thirty-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, whose literary inspiration often stems from songs she’s written.

Jessica is the Co-Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and annually runs the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca. She makes a living as a writer/editor for English Language Teaching Publishers worldwide, such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, MacMillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Non-Fiction / Writing Skills Reference
Rating – PG
More details about the author & the book
Connect with Jessica Bell on Facebook &  Twitter
Reactions:

0 comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom

SherbetBlossom

Blog-A-Licious

Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife

Blog-A-Licious

My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo

tbaoo

Blog-A-Licious

Powered by BannerFans.com

Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun

Greatfun4kids

Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

Powered by BannerFans.com

Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max


Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry

BlogNostics

My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

Book Blogs Community

Indie Author Blog Hop


indie author blog hop
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next

In Support Of

In Support Of

Support Me - KIVA

Celebrating Authors

Book Signing @

Read Me - E.Zine Articles

Copyscape

Protected by Copyscape Online Plagiarism Software