Show Your Story- by ria, on Thursday, 8th July 2010, 12:35pm
I ‘tell’ an awful lot in my novel. It annoys me, because I read over my work and think it’s boring, or it’s missing something. Until now, I had a vague idea that I was missing out on emotion, on characterisation. But that wasn’t it.
Recently, Nathan Bransford linked to an old post of his where he discusses the old adage, ‘show; don’t tell.’ The main point I took from his article was: have your character react. That’s what my novel has been missing, that reaction to events, or to emotion. It’s all fine and dandy to say, ‘he was angry,’ but Mr Bransford drove home the idea that having your character react to his anger will make a far better impression on your reader.
So, when you are writing characterisation, and your character is angry, you have to ask yourself, ‘how does he react because of this anger?’ The answer is what you write in your MS (manuscript for all you exceptionally new to writing).