Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Best Explanation of why Showing is better than Telling

I feel like I've talked about it a lot here on Operation Awesome, but just in case you missed it: I went to an awesome writing conference called Storymakers. One of my favorite classes from the conference was called Using Character Emotions to WOW Readers, and it was taught by Becca Puglisi of The Emotion Thesaurus fame.

I flipping love The Emotion Thesaurus. Becca and Angela Ackerman have several books in their Thesaurus series, plus an amazing website for writers called Writers Helping Writers. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to take a class from Becca.

As I reread over my notes from the class while tackling a revision, this little bit on showing versus telling tugged at my brain until I remembered I needed a topic for my OA post this week. Show vs tell is one of those topics that feels like it's been talked about to death among writers, and I've seen many people complain about it. Whether it's because it's harder to show than to tell, or because they don't see why it's important, many writers struggle with this concept.

Here's what I wrote down while Becca gave her presentation:

“Telling” emotions is bare and sparse, and conveys information instead of engaging the reader’s emotions. “Showing” creates an emotional echo with the character, gives a sense of shared experience, and fosters reader empathy.

And that was a "boom" moment for me. That's why showing is more powerful than telling. I was never able to put it into words before.

That's all I have. If you haven't been to Writers Helping Writers yet, that should definitely be your next click!

1 comment:

  1. That's definitely really helpful! Thanks for passing it on. I guess you need to be feeling the moment yourself for it to come across most effectively, so the more engaged you are with your characters, the better.

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