Ah, Come On Baby, Stop Teasing, Show Me, Show Me, Show Me (Show, Don't Tell)

Written by Jeff Colburn

It's been a hard day. You settle into your most comfortable chair withrepparttar book you just bought. All you want to do is get lost in a good story for awhile. You openrepparttar 129736 book and begin to read. Which ofrepparttar 129737 following would let you know that you're really holding a book that you can get lost in?

"Jack was nervous as he enteredrepparttar 129738 boardroom."


"Jack enteredrepparttar 129739 boardroom. He feltrepparttar 129740 knot in his stomach tighten as thirty five sets of eyes stared at him. A downpour of sweat soaked his armpits, and shirt. Trickles of sweat even rolled down his back. He was glad to have on his heavy dark jacket. The chairman cleared his throat disapprovingly. Jack's mouth went so dry it felt like he hadn't swallowed in years. When he glanced atrepparttar 129741 chairman, his stomach rumbled. Jack prayed he wouldn't need to make a mad dash torepparttar 129742 bathroom.

Inrepparttar 129743 first example,repparttar 129744 author expectsrepparttar 129745 reader to do allrepparttar 129746 work, while inrepparttar 129747 second, he has done his job as a writer. He has describedrepparttar 129748 scene with enough detail so thatrepparttar 129749 reader can feelrepparttar 129750 man's discomfort, in all of its nasty aspects.

Telling a scene in a story instead of showing is one ofrepparttar 129751 most common mistakes that new, and not so new, writers make.

There are two techniques I use to insure that I show and don't tell. First, I imagine that I am explaining something to someone from Mars, who has not experienced anything on Earth. The next thing I do is ask myself what senses are involved. Ifrepparttar 129752 reader were inrepparttar 129753 scene, what would he or she see, hear, smell, taste and feel?

Who Said That? (First, Second Or Third Person)

Written by Jeff Colburn

I often have writers ask me which person they should write in, first, second or third. Deciding if a story should be told with "I said,you said, or he/she said" can be daunting to many writers. This question is most difficult to decide in fiction. For that reason, I will address this article to all of you fiction writers.

There are pros and cons to each person. Let me give you some examples so we are all talking aboutrepparttar same thing.

This example comes from a short story of mine called "First Blood."

Third Person, also called Omniscient (This is how it was written for publication.): "Damn them all torepparttar 129733 seven hells of Anthion," Klempf yelled, as he took another direct hit. His head throbbed from being thrown againstrepparttar 129734 control panel. A small trickle of red blood ran down between his blond eyebrows.

Second Person: "Damn them all torepparttar 129735 seven hells of Anthion," you yelled, as your ship took another direct hit. Your head throbbed from being thrown againstrepparttar 129736 control panel. A small trickle of red blood ran down between your blond eyebrows.

First Person: "Damn them all torepparttar 129737 seven hells of Anthion," I yelled, as my ship took another direct hit. My head throbbed from being thrown againstrepparttar 129738 control panel. A small trickle of red blood ran down between my blond eyebrows.

As you can see, each paragraph has a distinctly different flavor.

Second person is very seldom used in fiction. To me, it seems to be paternal and distancing when someone keeps saying, "You, you, you." It lacks involvement ofrepparttar 129739 characters inrepparttar 129740 story. Don't get me wrong, it can be used in a story, but it must be done very carefully.

The most frequently used persons are first and third.

First person hasrepparttar 129741 advantage of being very personal. "I did this. I did that." The reader will know exactly whatrepparttar 129742 character is thinking and what they believe, even ifrepparttar 129743 story showsrepparttar 129744 character is wrong. One ofrepparttar 129745 disadvantages is thatrepparttar 129746 reader doesn't know anything thatrepparttar 129747 character doesn't know. If a character is standing in one room, he doesn't know what is happening anywhere else. You couldn't say, "Darek stood inrepparttar 129748 living room, unaware that Jim was inrepparttar 129749 garden, with a rifle aimed at Darek's chest." That would be third person. Now you could say, "I stood inrepparttar 129750 living room facingrepparttar 129751 bay window. A glint of light from something inrepparttar 129752 garden caught my attention. Too late, I realizedrepparttar 129753 glint came from a rifle scope,repparttar 129754 bullet ripped into my chest, andrepparttar 129755 world darkened." This would have to berepparttar 129756 end ofrepparttar 129757 story, because there wouldn't be anyone left to tellrepparttar 129758 story, unless you haverepparttar 129759 character's ghost continuerepparttar 129760 story.

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