Tuesday, July 18, 2017

3T Writing Tidbit

Are you sick of it yet?

SHOW don't TELL.

Yup. Screamingly sick. Me too. Want an easy way past it? (Well sure, who doesn't? LOL.)

Any time you write something along the lines of: He couldn't do the thing, because of reasons.

Simply. Have. Him. Do. The Thing.


Instead of a boring internal monologue about why the thing can't be done, he TRIES to do the thing and generate INSTANT CONFLICT because he CAN'T! And you're showing why he can't instead of having him whine about it.

Seb, though a really strong vampire, couldn't fight the Bad Vampire because he suspected the BV had taken illegal strength drugs and was almost indestructible.
(Back up to where Seb doesn't suspect drugs.)
Seb sauntered into the abandoned warehouse, certain that he was the strongest vampire around. He'd take down the Bad Vampire and save the town.

But when he attacked, the BV misted away. He followed, only to have the Bad Vampire appear before him--and nail him with a fist to the face. Seb rocked with the force of the BV's punch.

How the hell had BV gotten so strong?
Well, heck. Only one way. Those illegal strength drugs.

See? Showing instead of telling, instant conflict, PLUS it's easy and fun.

This technique also works for fact reveals. In the first example, Seb had to infer from facts that the BV was on drugs. In the second, it literally hit him over the head. Which do you think is more immediate for readers?

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

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