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Give us Telling and Let us Fix it : Conversation question • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
TLCole
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Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby TLCole » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:50 pm

Hello All!!

I have traveled all over the forum and one particular thread had me really thinking. It was a post regarding "telling and showing" and I realized I was trying to fix the "telling" to "showing". But, no idea if I was doing it correctly or how to even do the corrections but I was studying the replies that were helping to fix the telling to see if I could get the idea of it. I kind of did get the idea. I feel I am just on the verge of grasping it. Well, maybe not so much grasping it, but getting it in my head and implementing it. And maybe there are other newbies out there feeling like I am. So new to this and seeing the answers given but still not quite sure. Could some of the veterans give some example sentences of telling? And let some of the newer folks rework it to showing and see if they can get the concept? Maybe post a telling and let a few folks work it and then give your own revision of it and maybe some critique of how the folks that responded did? Or if better, the newer members and not so knowledgeable to crafting could give some of our sentences and get feed back on why it is telling or IF it is telling and we could try to re work it? And other members could try to rework it too? Just a couple of thoughts for a thread that would 100% help me and I'm sure other newbies :)

Thank you!!
Theresa

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onceuponwednesday
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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby onceuponwednesday » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:58 pm

What an interesting idea. Here's some telling that needs fixing.

Dylan was angry at Michael.

I thought the chocolate tasted good.

The bride got upset when she saw who I was kissing.

Not that there is anything wrong with these sentences, but they only do one thing, tell the reader the feelings or thoughts of the characters. When you "show" you tell the reader what the character is doing, which shows how they are feeling. Two things instead of one.
The Rule of Three

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mammamaia
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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby mammamaia » Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:46 am

Dylan was angry at Michael.

Dylan slammed the door closed with a backward kick. He grabbed Michael by one arm and spun his brother around to face him.

I thought the chocolate tasted good.

The chocolate bunny's right foot slowly melted in my mouth, releasing waves of pleasure and comfort to taste buds and other pertinent body parts.

The bride got upset when she saw who I was kissing.

I was just bestowing a congratulatory kiss or two on my former lover, when my sister saw us and launched her bridal bouquet at her groom's well-groomed head.
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TerryRodgers
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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby TerryRodgers » Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:45 pm


Wombat_
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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby Wombat_ » Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:32 pm

Yeah, chocolate is far in my past dang it!

Showing can be quite simple. I wrote a story about Hana and her mother Himeka. Introducing Himeka looked like this:

Himeka, her mother, stripped her down on the front porch, and watched with stern eyes as she bathed in a tub full of cold water until the last smidgen of mud was gone.

Now it reads like this

Hana tried to explain as Himeka bathed her in a tub of cold water on the front porch.

“Mama, I didn’t mean to!”

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MookyMcD
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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby MookyMcD » Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:16 pm

If you want an exercise, maybe you could just look at a list of adverbs and adjectives and find ways to describe the conditions described by both. Or, run through your manuscript doing the same. That should do it for you.

TLCole
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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby TLCole » Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:11 pm

Yeah, I thought that too. Exercises. But then I'm doing it all by myself and that's not much fun.

Once Upon a Wednesday :) Here is my attempt to convert your telling to showing.

Dylan was angry at Michael.
My turn: Dylan wiped the rag over the edge of the knife. Polishing it with fingers wrapped tight and knuckles white with a grip that restricted blood flow. Michael talked. No answer. Dylan kept polishing. Michael continued to talk.

I thought the chocolate tasted good.
(this one should be fun! :p)
My take: Vegas. Lights. Ringing Slots. Never ending Champagne. And one little hole in the wall Bakery. Right there. Across from Caesars. A window so tiny it was always missed by the chaotic, oblivion seekers. I saw it. That tower of gold dusted truffles caught my eye. I walked by and I had to go in.
"One chocolate truffle please."
Eyes closed. Slow roll of my head.. just slight enough that the bare movement is noticed. Swallow. Lick of the lips and one last, satisfying drop of my head back.

Lol. This one is good.
The bride got upset when she saw who I was kissing. (side note. I read "can the camera see it" here on WD and I am going with that for my responses)
She ripped the veil from her head, some hairs still attached to the pins used to secure it, when she saw me kissing her sister.

I have to admit that this was so much fun! Thank you Wednesday and any others that might give us a few to reinterpret :) Also, if you would. let me know where I went wrong. I know I get a little too excited and probably add in more than is necessary.

TLCole
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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby TLCole » Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:17 pm

mammamaia. Thank you for posting :) I appreciate so much getting input from others on the site. I think you nailed it.

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DrG2
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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby DrG2 » Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:42 pm


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onceuponwednesday
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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby onceuponwednesday » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:14 am

The Rule of Three

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