“Thinking is abstract. Knowing and believing are intangible. Your story
will always be stronger if you just show the physical actions and
details of your characters and allow your reader to do the thinking and
knowing. And loving and hating.” –Chuck Palahniuk
|Chuck Palahniuk on Fiction Writing|
“Instead of characters knowing anything, you must now present the details that allow the reader to know them. Instead of a character wanting something, you must now describe the thing so that the reader wants it.
In short, no more short-cuts. Only specific sensory detail: action, smell, taste, sound, and feeling.”
Whenever I spot a line that says something like:
He knew she would react like that.
I try to replace it with:
He had watched her years ago as she took a pair of shears to the sweater she’d worked on for over a month. Bits of snipped wool and color lay scattered on the floor around her as she lay on the floor, knees curled into her stomach, mimicking the baby she’d lost.
He hadn’t approached her then, and he wouldn’t now.
Which version do you think works better? Do you use ‘thought’ verbs in your writing?