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Writing Wednesday: “Now Showing” Blogfest

Madeleine at Scribble and Edit has organised the Now Showing Blogfest ending on 14th Jan 2011. It is a good exercise in Show Don’t Tell, and I thought it perfect for the Writing Wednesday post.

My “show” entry for the “tell”, She’s elated:

Sara’s large blue eyes widened, teared up and smiled at the same time, and in that moment before her face burst into a laugh, time stopped for David, letting him capture the quick intake of her breath, the raise of her eyebrows, the way her hair swung on her forehead; and then she laughed and bent to kiss him and said “Yes, my love, I will.”

Visit the Now Showing Blogfest link to join in the fun. Thanks Madeleine for hosting this Blogfest!
Show, don’t tell is repeated ad nauseam, by writing teachers and students alike, but I have met many writers whose drafts are full of re-countings of scenes, not the scenes themselves.
In the age of videos, television, films, it is all the more important for us as writers to show action, characters, settings like a running movie in the reader’s head.
The readers do not enjoy being talked at, they need to see a character’s body language and hear what she has to say and form their own opinion.
For me, I take down what I see in my head, which makes it difficult to write without “writing in scenes”.
However, when I’m writing my way into a story, the backstory becomes an info-dump– but that is why it is the first draft. I scribble down the draft with a note that it needs to go in as small juicy bites throughout the story, or become a flashback scene (I try to avoid flashbacks, though, as they affect the immediacy of the reader’s experience).
What tricks do you use to Show, not Tell? Does it occur naturally in your writing?
Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Donea Lee says:

    Hi Damyanti – over here for the blogfest. I think you hit "elated" on the head! Thanks for sharing ~ 🙂

  • Damyanti says:

    Thanks, Rachna, and welcome to my blog. Look forward to your posts.

    Thanks, Madeleine, will go check the link.

    Thanks Heather, and welcome to my blog. Do come back often.

    L'Aussie, you have been in my thoughts, am so glad you're safe. I have friends in Brisbane and they're ok too. I hope things get better soon.

    Will hop over to you party now, thanks for the invite! Admire your resilience at what must be an upsetting time for your community.

  • L'Aussie says:

    I didn't know about this blogfest but it is a good one and so worthwhile. I liked your entry and your thoughts on show and tell. When I write, I throw it all in – telling my head off. Then when I edit I find creative ways to show the same thing. I have fun and it works well and makes the story so much better.

    I especially came by to thank you for responding to my 'disaster' post. I appreciated your thoughts. I kept my head above water and am now watching the river go down. I am still isolated in the CBD as am surrounded by water and no businesses are operating.

    BTW I have a Publication Party started on my blog. I'd love it if you could come by and read what authors have to say about getting published. Perhaps you could leave a comment about your aspirations. There are prizes each week. Please come by. The champagne's free!

    Denise 🙂

  • Very nice. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • Madeleine says:

    BTW check out
    Another Now Showing Blogfest :O)

  • Madeleine says:

    Awh bless that is so sweet! Thanks for joining in my blogfest. I love it :O)

  • I am trying to work on the Show, not tell aspect of my writing. Sometimes, the tell part creeps and and then I have to rewrite.

    Your entry is wonderful!

  • Damyanti says:

    Me too, I''m a multiple drafter. I take out the tell and put in the show, most of the time.

  • Summer Ross says:

    I'm not able to participate in this blogfest- but you are right, there is a great deal to be learned by doing it. I liked your entry.

    tricks, I think it just comes with the flow of my writing, I do some telling in the first draft but in later drafts I have subconsciously canceled them out, or improved on them.

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