Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fiction Writing Lesson #2 : Show, don't tell.

Show, don't Tell is one of those basic fiction writing concepts which have been something I've been trying to wrap my head around for ages. In fiction writing, the aim is not tell the writer of someone's feelings but to show it. This allows the reader to infer for himself what's really going on around the story.

Lesson 2's exercise is powerful and I find myself able to apply it to some of my electronic products almost immediately once I get around to rewriting some of the narratives in my fantasy RPG.

Original prose - He had never been so angry in his life.

After my refinement - His brows tightened as his face turned beet red. With a clenched fist raised to the sky, the teenager's voice thundered across the room.

I was not even sure if tightening brows signified anger but I'm still an amateur at this.

Some paragraphs later, I decided to go ape-shit with this concept.

Original Prose - She could not imagine how her precious baby had grown up into such a rebellious, defiant teenager with no qualms about saying untrue things.

After my refinement - The babe that used to suckle at her teats has now become a raging tornado of bullshit, threatening to despoil the truth with it's swirling nuggets of filth.

The flair for drama aside, I just recalled my good instructor reminding us not to mix our metaphors.

All in all, a good lesson not just in fiction writing, but also in good corporate communications. You can increase your persuasiveness by using metaphors in your speech and by using concrete images to sway your audience.

Now to "weaponise" this discovery for my friends who are still in the dating circuit.

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