Editor Robin Patchen wraps up our examination of Fatal Flaw: # 6 Show, Don’t Tell. Writers often succumb to this fatal flaw of fiction writing, explaining and telling and summarizing instead of showing action as it’s happening. Robin gives some great tips on how writers can show by action and thoughts rather than by relying on describing bodily sensations. Be sure to pay attention to this one! (If you missed this month’s post on this fatal flaw, start with this one here.)
This month, we’ve been studying that famous axiom for fiction writers: show, don’t tell. Today, I’m going to tackle what I think is the most difficult thing to show in our novels—emotions.
If you’ve been writing for a while, no doubt you’ve heard it’s not acceptable to name emotions. Don’t tell us Mary is sad. Show us she’s sad.
Many writers lean on a clever trick to show emotions—they describe a character’s physical reactions to emotions. See More . . .