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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 forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 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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