5 Ways you may be telling your readers, instead of showing
1. Are you writing in passive voice?
Identify passive voice in your writing by looking for “to be” + past participle. Also look for sentences that end with “by…” phrases (Example: The cards were shuffled by the dealer.)
2. Check your descriptions
The baby had blue eyes and blonde hair – Telling.
The toddler’s eyes reflected the blue of the sky, and her blonde hair curled into tiny ringlets – Showing.
3. Incorporate Sensory Details – connected to #2
Use your five senses to describe in your writing. We rely heavily on sight, touch and sound. Make an effort to include smell and taste.
Example: The stale smell of cigarette smoke hung in the bedroom. Josephine rolled off the edge of the bed and planted her feet on the wooden floor.
4. Use dialogue
Let your characters words engage the readers – “Get out here this instant,” Jason’s mom screamed through the bedroom door.
You don’t have to write – Jason’s mom was angry. She yelled at him to come out of the room.
5. Be specific
Vague writing is telling, not showing. “Things,” “very” and empty words “weird,” “neat,” “beautiful” – avoid these. These words are not specific. Be specific! Choose the right word. It makes all the difference for your story and for your readers.
What are ways that you make sure you are SHOWING in your writing?
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