Accentuate Writers Forum
Not logged in [Login - Register]



Donations & advertising pay hosting fees, forum email, and email relays.

Thank you for being a member!


Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
 Pages:  1  2
Author: Subject: Let's practice show vs. tell
twnkltoz
Founding Member/Moderator
********


Avatar


Posts: 2299
Registered: 1/17/2008
Member Is Offline

Mood: Optimistic

[*] posted on 11/28/2010 at 06:45 PM
Let's practice show vs. tell


I got the idea to do this at the author event today. I don't know where it came from, but it suddenly popped into my head, so let's do it!

One thing that a lot of people struggle with is showing vs telling. So, I'm going to give you some prompts that are "telling", and I want each of you to rewrite it as "showing" and post your answer here. If you don't get the concept, you can read how other people do it and then take a shot at it.

You get bonus points if you then take the prompt and write a short story!

OK, here's the prompt:

Quote:
Lucy was near-sighted.


You can rewrite it any way you want, as long as the reader gets the idea. Go!




View user's profile
Skwerly
Super Moderator
*******


Avatar


Posts: 7158
Registered: 5/17/2008
Location: Yucaipa, California
Member Is Offline

Mood: Wyatt, I am rolling.

[*] posted on 11/29/2010 at 03:30 AM


I will definitely come back to this in the morning... way too tired at the moment. Good prompt!



I seemed to be looking down from an immense height upon a twilit grotto, knee-deep with filth, where a white-bearded daemon swineherd drove about with his staff a flock of fungous, flabby beasts whose appearance filled me with unutterable loathing.

Just keep writing and the good stuff will come.
View user's profile Visit user's homepage
Camack
Literary Master
******


Avatar


Posts: 1048
Registered: 4/6/2010
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Member Is Offline

Mood: so-so

[*] posted on 11/29/2010 at 07:42 AM


Lucy found it difficult to read the road signs without wearing her glasses, but she could read an entire novel without a problem.

(This is great. I definitely need help in this area.)




View user's profile Visit user's homepage
twnkltoz
Founding Member/Moderator
********


Avatar


Posts: 2299
Registered: 1/17/2008
Member Is Offline

Mood: Optimistic

[*] posted on 11/29/2010 at 10:50 AM


That's it! Keep them coming. It'll be fun to see all the different ways it can be done.



View user's profile
gkramer86
Founding Member
*****


Avatar


Posts: 589
Registered: 1/17/2008
Location: Mccordsville, Indiana
Member Is Offline

Mood: Somewhat Optimistic.

[*] posted on 11/29/2010 at 11:01 AM


Lucy was surprised when she couldn't read people's license plates as she whizzed by in her car.



View user's profile
twnkltoz
Founding Member/Moderator
********


Avatar


Posts: 2299
Registered: 1/17/2008
Member Is Offline

Mood: Optimistic

[*] posted on 11/29/2010 at 11:31 AM


George, that's a good start. I think I'd include just a little more detail in that one, though--can she not see them because they're too far away, or because she's moving too fast? It might be clearer with more context.



View user's profile
Skwerly
Super Moderator
*******


Avatar


Posts: 7158
Registered: 5/17/2008
Location: Yucaipa, California
Member Is Offline

Mood: Wyatt, I am rolling.

[*] posted on 11/29/2010 at 12:38 PM


Lucy had forgotten her glasses, and had to squint through the entire film.



I seemed to be looking down from an immense height upon a twilit grotto, knee-deep with filth, where a white-bearded daemon swineherd drove about with his staff a flock of fungous, flabby beasts whose appearance filled me with unutterable loathing.

Just keep writing and the good stuff will come.
View user's profile Visit user's homepage
Morecoffee
Literary Master
******


Avatar


Posts: 3271
Registered: 2/7/2008
Location: Florida
Member Is Offline

Mood: Caffeinated... Look out world!

[*] posted on 11/29/2010 at 12:48 PM


Lucy squinted her eyes and tried to make out the numbers on the alarm clock.

"Hand Mommy her glasses, Baby. I can't see a darn thing without them."

Betsy obeyed and waited as patiently as five-year old possibly could for her mother to get out of bed.

"Four-oh-eight." Lucy tried to hide her impatience from the scared little girl. "Oh, Betsy. Let's go get rid of that monster, so you can get back to sleep. Where did you say you saw him? In the closet?"


[Edited on 11-29-2010 by Morecoffee]




Jo Brielyn :2442x:



Combat Fat for Kids released on December 18, 2012!

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.” ~Francis Chan

JoBrielyn.com | Creative Kids Ideas | Good for Your Health | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter


View user's profile Visit user's homepage
twnkltoz
Founding Member/Moderator
********


Avatar


Posts: 2299
Registered: 1/17/2008
Member Is Offline

Mood: Optimistic

[*] posted on 11/29/2010 at 01:03 PM


Excellent examples! Here's mine:

Lucy stood at the podium and smiled at the audience. Her eyes dropped to her note cards, which were covered in blurry writing that were no help. She sighed and wished she had remembered her glasses. She knew she should have memorized her speech better, but there had been no time the night before with helping her daughter through multiple trips to the bathroom to throw up. She had no choice but to blunder through her presentation, so she picked up her cards and held them close to her face. She squinted and scanned the first card, then raised her eyes back to the room full of indistinct figures and spoke.




View user's profile
Michy
Boss(y) Lady / Site Owner / Admin
*********




Posts: 13810
Registered: 1/15/2008
Location: Texas
Member Is Offline

Mood: Pained

[*] posted on 11/29/2010 at 01:30 PM


This is awesome!

What a great exercise! When editing, I find many instances of telling vs. showing. While a tiny bit is allowed to move things along when it's very fast paced, most writers default to telling when they aren't fully invested in the story. I find the sections of novels where things drag are the places where telling becomes more common.

I catch myself doing it all the time, but my problem is, I 'tell' and then 'show' the same thing. I have to keep reminding myself, "Your readers aren't stupid. They'll get it! Trust them!"






Love and stuff,
Michy
~~Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations~~


Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again." James R. Cook

-----------------------------------------

Check Out My Author Website! Read Book Reviews There or Request a FREE Author Interview!
View user's profile Visit user's homepage
twnkltoz
Founding Member/Moderator
********


Avatar


Posts: 2299
Registered: 1/17/2008
Member Is Offline

Mood: Optimistic

[*] posted on 11/29/2010 at 01:42 PM


LOL I hear you on the last bit, Michy! I do that sometimes, too. Or, I tell the reader, and then the character does, too (in narrative and then in dialogue). While working on my nano this year, I've caught myself telling a couple of times, but decided to leave it and go back during my rewrite to fix it. Even though showing would give me more words, if I have to stop to really think about it, it breaks the flow if I'm trying to get a scene down.



View user's profile
twnkltoz
Founding Member/Moderator
********


Avatar


Posts: 2299
Registered: 1/17/2008
Member Is Offline

Mood: Optimistic

[*] posted on 11/29/2010 at 02:43 PM


I wrote a blog post to help you out a bit if you're struggling:

http://jenniferlwalker.blogspot.com/2010/11/show-vs-tell-what-does-...




View user's profile
twnkltoz
Founding Member/Moderator
********


Avatar


Posts: 2299
Registered: 1/17/2008
Member Is Offline

Mood: Optimistic

[*] posted on 11/30/2010 at 11:08 AM


I'd like to see some more people try this. It's something a lot of people struggle with, so now is the time to get some help! It's OK if you don't get it right the first try. We're here to learn!



View user's profile
justkat73
Master Writer
*****


Avatar


Posts: 909
Registered: 1/7/2009
Member Is Offline

Mood: completely unfocused

[*] posted on 11/30/2010 at 12:54 PM




[Edited on 12/2/2010 by justkat73]




View user's profile Visit user's homepage
melissa
Superlative Writer
***




Posts: 115
Registered: 5/30/2010
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Member Is Offline

Mood: wintery

[*] posted on 12/1/2010 at 01:23 PM


Lucy yearned to see the emotion in the horses' eyes, to see the expressions of a wild horse. She only knew that of the horses Pop kept at his ranch. The herd was too far away to see all the beautiful detail of the sinewy muscles, the flaring nostrils, and the untamed eyes. It didn't matter to her. She was close enough to smell the mixing of the horses' natural smell and the dirt they kicked up. She saw the billows of dust following behind the herd and she could feel the hooves pounding the earth making little ripples flow through her feet and into her body. She could feel their freedom, their untamed souls living the way God had intended for them too. She wondered if the sad eyes of Pop's precious horses ever yearned to know the same. Afterall, they not only felt and smelled the wild horses, but they could see the freedom in their eyes.

*****

Thought about this one. I wasn't going to attempt it, but I had this idea and thought I should run with it. I don't know why this came up. Probably because I'm near-sighted and hate the fact that I can't see nature as clearly as I wish I could.

Any opinions or criticism is welcome! I haven't written anything like this is so long. It's been too long and I need to get back on it! Especially when ideas come to me so strongly.

I'm waiting for the next prompt! :)
View user's profile
Michy
Boss(y) Lady / Site Owner / Admin
*********




Posts: 13810
Registered: 1/15/2008
Location: Texas
Member Is Offline

Mood: Pained

[*] posted on 12/1/2010 at 01:39 PM


You did awesome imagery here, Melissa. Is this perhaps part of a longer fuller story you might decide to write?




Love and stuff,
Michy
~~Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations~~


Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again." James R. Cook

-----------------------------------------

Check Out My Author Website! Read Book Reviews There or Request a FREE Author Interview!
View user's profile Visit user's homepage
twnkltoz
Founding Member/Moderator
********


Avatar


Posts: 2299
Registered: 1/17/2008
Member Is Offline

Mood: Optimistic

[*] posted on 12/1/2010 at 02:59 PM


Melissa, I thought that was awesome. The only thing I'd say is what I said to George above...I don't really get that Lucy is near-sighted, just that she can't get close enough to the horses to see them. Now, that may not matter in the story you absolutely must expand this into, but if you want to make sure the reader knows she's near-sighted, make sure we know she can't see the detail because of that, and not just because they're far away. Does that make sense?



View user's profile
melissa
Superlative Writer
***




Posts: 115
Registered: 5/30/2010
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Member Is Offline

Mood: wintery

[*] posted on 12/1/2010 at 04:24 PM


Quote: Originally posted by twnkltoz  
Melissa, I thought that was awesome. The only thing I'd say is what I said to George above...I don't really get that Lucy is near-sighted, just that she can't get close enough to the horses to see them. Now, that may not matter in the story you absolutely must expand this into, but if you want to make sure the reader knows she's near-sighted, make sure we know she can't see the detail because of that, and not just because they're far away. Does that make sense?


Thank you! That's how I felt. I wanted to go more in-depth with it, but then it would be as if she was completely blind, not just near sighted. I took something simple and turned into an extreme! lol. :) I appreciate the feedback.
View user's profile
twnkltoz
Founding Member/Moderator
********


Avatar


Posts: 2299
Registered: 1/17/2008
Member Is Offline

Mood: Optimistic

[*] posted on 12/1/2010 at 05:19 PM


Want to try another one? I'm going to do another writing lesson/practice like this, but on a different topic. Maybe tomorrow.

The room was cozy.







View user's profile
flyingbird65
Founding Member
******




Posts: 1016
Registered: 1/17/2008
Location: Michigan
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 12/1/2010 at 05:51 PM


"Thirty miles! Thirty miles out of my way all because I forgot my glasses", stammered Lucy as she turned the car around.



Every moment starts with a desire to do something. I'm going back to bed.

Bird
View user's profile Visit user's homepage This user has MSN Messenger
 Pages:  1  2

                              

  Go To Top

Join Amazon Prime - Watch Over 40,000 Movies


Powered by XMB
XMB Forum Software © 2001-2011 The XMB Group