Saturday, 11 June 2016

S is for Show, don't tell

When I was writing my first draft of Witness I introduced the character Wade by describing his physical appearance compared to his friend Ethan and went on to tell the reader how he became friends with Lois - because they shared a similar taste in music. It was a really dull page of prose.

In the rewrite I decided I wanted to make Wade a bigger character in the story and went back to specifically look for places where he was included. I'm ashamed to admit that I left in the boring introduction to start with, but then I came to my senses and realised that it wasn't really adding to the story. I took out the description and added a scene where Lois was revising listening to her iPod and Wade came over to join her because he heard the music. It said the same as the orginal but it was much more interesting because it included dialogue and interaction between the characters.

Lesson learned - show, don't tell!

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