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"Show, do not say"; What is the meaning of this famous term in the world of writing?

BingMag.com 'Show, do not say'; What is the meaning of this famous term in the world of writing?

"Show, do not tell" is one of the most popular sentences for teaching writing. .. The author K.M. Weiland best illustrates the difference between the two: Showing the drama makes the drama. "It sums up the story." (Showing Dramatizes, Telling Summarizes)

Note this sentence:

Girl is afraid of nature; Her heart beats faster when she hears every horrible sound. But suddenly his fear disappeared. He touched the ground; And he felt that the earth was his new guardian.

What is the problem with this illustration? To begin with, the problem is that there is no specific illustration here and it does not make much sense to me as a reader. This is the main problem with writing that relies too much on "saying". The author tells us that the girl is scared, the sounds are scary and the earth is her guardian. But there is no evidence to support these claims.

BingMag.com 'Show, do not say'; What is the meaning of this famous term in the world of writing?

The problem is that in most cases you can hardly Notice that you are using "saying" in an unpleasant way in your writing. It is necessary to emphasize the word "unpleasant", because saying it is not inherently bad. In fact, all novels are a combination of telling and showing. You do not always have to show "show" instead of "say". If so, the volume of the novels will be exhaustingly long and full of unnecessary descriptions.

Sometimes when you want to show the passage of time or present important facts to the reader without prepositions, it is better to use saying. Consider, for example, the opening of The Secret Garden, a children's novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett:

When Marry Lennox was sent to the Musselwitt mansion to live with her uncle , Everyone said he was the most unpleasant child they had ever seen. It was exactly like that. He had a small, slender face, a small, slender body, short, yellow hair, and a sad face. His hair was yellow and his face was yellow, because he was born in India and God always had a disease.

BingMag.com 'Show, do not say'; What is the meaning of this famous term in the world of writing?

In this opening, we are given information about the esophagus; That he is a child with an unpleasant appearance and always has some kind of disease. But the author supports her claims with visual evidence, referring to her thin face, slim hair, and upset face.

If an expert tells you that you say too much in your writing, you probably don't It means that you have to add more details to the writing or choose a narrator with a strong voice for the writing that evokes a feeling in the reader.

Good writing invites the reader to visualize the scene in his mind and the emotions themselves. To experience; Good writing does not tell the reader how it feels.

Andrew Stanton, a Pixar writer and director, gave a talk at TED entitled "Signs of a Great Story" Theory He proposes "Theory of 2 + 2". "Make the audience understand the story," he says. Do not give them the number four; Give them the equation of two plus two. "

BingMag.com 'Show, do not say'; What is the meaning of this famous term in the world of writing?

Wall-opening E) It is based on this idea: showing the equation to the audience, without giving the answer to the equation. Stanton explains why this method is effective for storytelling:

Dialogue-free storytelling is the purest and most universal type of cinematic storytelling. One of my guesses that has now become certain is that the audience really wants to work hard to enjoy the story; He just does not like to know that he is working hard. Your job as a storyteller is to make the audience aware that they are struggling to enjoy the story.

The tendency to solve problems is one of our innate characteristics. We have a strong motivation to deduce and deduce, because that is what we do in real life. The information space absorbs our space. That's why we all love a baby or a little dog. The reason is not just that they are cute; This is because they are not able to fully express their thoughts and intentions. Their inability to do so acts like a magnet. We can not stop our desire to complete sentences.

His theory can be extended to other methods of storytelling, which have no visual aspect. In the realm of storytelling, in order to make the audience care about the story, it is sometimes necessary to implicitly refer to meanings, rather than expressing them directly. Readers enjoy the process of discovering and solving puzzles.

Show the root of the phrase "; "Do not say" Where does it go?

Before we get into the practical techniques of "show", it's not bad to know the root of the slogan "show"; Don't go "where it's going, because this is not an over-the-top topic.

Paul Dawson, in his book Creative Writing and the New Humanities, published in The year 2004 states that with the advent of the school of realism as a literary movement, the face of the novel changed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

BingMag.com 'Show, do not say'; What is the meaning of this famous term in the world of writing?

The goal of realism is to tell the life story of ordinary people with complete honesty and avoid rhetoric. Dawson points out:

Since the time of Gustave Flaubert, novels have moved towards the depersonalization of the narrator in order to reduce the presence of the "implicated author" and dramatize the events of the story as much as possible. .

BingMag.com 'Show, do not say'; What is the meaning of this famous term in the world of writing?

Percy Lubbock, literary critic, created nineteenth-century realist writers Admired a special aesthetic sense for the novel. In his book The Craft of Fiction, published in 1921, he popularized the idea of "showing versus telling." He is quoted as saying:

The art of storytelling begins when the novelist looks at his story through the eyes of an adventure that must be told and the element of the play is bold enough to define his own story. Writers such as Virginia Woolf both praised and criticized Labeck for limiting the art of novelism to a formalist system.

His ideas became very popular in the world of literature. The purpose of this recommendation was primarily to make the author an invisible narrator and not to prevent the reader from drowning in the world of fiction. (Understanding Show and Tell), published in 2016, makes similar advice:

Consider this as a general rule of thumb: As long as one of the characters in the story seems to be thinking about what is being said, no problem. But if the author seems to have entered the story space to explain something, you have probably committed the sin of "saying."

BingMag.com 'Show, do not say'; What is the meaning of this famous term in the world of writing?

How to avoid saying and show?

If you want the reader to experience the story on a deep and emotional level, you need to know when you need to show something. In general, if there is a moment in the story where emotion, sensation, or theory is expressed, it is best to show it.

BingMag.com 'Show, do not say'; What is the meaning of this famous term in the world of writing?

Here are six general principles that can be followed to strengthen the skill of" showing ":

principle First, validate your claims with details, evidence, and clues.

Do they come to this conclusion?

When it comes to making assumptions and ideas, provide the audience with the same evidence and clues that the characters in the story need to come up with their ideas and ideas.

Chuck Palahniuk, author of the book Fight Club, advises against using thought-provoking verbs in writing; Verbs such as "thought", "knew", "realized", "realized", "believed", "wanted", "remembered" and "imagined"

His advice It is the use of Unpacking Scenes, a scene in which the audience discovers the thoughts and feelings of the characters through indirect clues.

He uses this example to better convey his meaning: Instead of saying "Adam knew Gwen liked him," we might say. Gwen rolled her eyes, walked away, leaving a black mark on the painted metal. But there is another effect left on him: the smell of his perfume. The combination lock was still warm from the buttocks. The next bell rang, he was still leaning on the cage.

Palaniuk adds: "Instead of saying that a certain character knew something, you should provide details to the audience that allow them to know the characters. "Instead of saying that a character wants something, you have to describe what the reader wants."

By providing details, evidence, and clues, you can immerse the reader in the world of fiction; Whether the element is about visual details or dialogue. When you do this, the audience itself will get the feeling you want to create.

Principle Two: Abstract Elements ( Abstract strong Replace>) with concrete elements ( Concrete )

Try not to express a character's feelings directly. On the Novel Writing Help blog, Harvey Chapman gives a great example before/after:

Saying: After his first kiss with Samantha, Toby returned home happiest during his 13 years. "

Show: " After his first kiss with Samantha, Toby smiled lightly all the way home. It was on his lips. "When he got to the main fence of the house, he jumped over it skillfully, without even getting close to stepping on it." Explaining why this change works, Chapman says, "Happiness is an abstract concept, and It should be shown in objective detail, such as a light-hearted grin and a jump over the fence.

Also try to avoid descriptions in which theoretical terms such as "beautiful" and "strange" are used. I might write in the first draft of the story: "The dark forest conveyed a sense of fear," but in the second draft this sentence should be changed. This forest may convey a sense of fear to the character, but the reader must also feel this fear. We have to prove to the reader that it is scary using evidence. For example: "The whispers of the cries of children who have been dead for years are heard in the forest." This sentence is much better than the previous one.

Instead of using one-sentence descriptions, try to use details that allow the reader to interpret the atmosphere of the story themselves.

One of the tricks To determine when you are in the realm of "abstract descriptions" is to ask the question that Jeff Gerke raises in his book The First 50 Pages: Can the camera see what you have described? ?

BingMag.com 'Show, do not say'; What is the meaning of this famous term in the world of writing?

Almost all the examples we gave of "show" contain details that can be Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Earl. Replacing Abstract Emotions with Objectives Works:

Is your personality cold? Do not tell me this; show. He raises his collar, fastens his scarf tighter, puts his hands in his pockets to the end, pulls his face away from the scorching wind.

Are you tired? He can yawn, bend his body. His eyes may look puffy. His shoulders may be drooping. Another character might say, "Didn't you sleep last night?" "You look so ugly."

Another way to look at "camera" theory is to focus on the effect of specific details, not the cause. Let me draw your attention to the following examples from Jerry Jenkins:

Saying: "The temperature dropped and the reflection of the sun on the ice became apparent."

Show: "Bill's nose burned in the freezing air, and he narrowed his eyes at the reflection of the sun on the icy street."

-

Saying, "Susie was blind."

Show: "Susie touched a tree branch with her white cane."/p>

Say: "It was late autumn."

show: "The dried leaves rustled under his feet. p>

-

In the first example, the cold air causes a special effect on the main character, that is, burning his nose. Instead of referring directly to the coldness of the air, coldness is represented by how the character interacts with his surroundings. Describing the rustling sound of dry leaves beneath the legs of the protagonist has a similar effect: it creates a richer image in the reader's mind.

Basically, to "show" you have to be specific about certain things. Unique sensory details bring the story scenes and current emotions to life.

Author Delilah Dawson talks about evoking the senses in order to deepen worldliness. In his first draft, while writing a sentence, he wrote: "Aga walks in the market looking at carpets and cans of spices." "Aga overlooked the spectacular view of the market," he could have said instead. But instead of using abstract concepts such as "looking in amazement" and "striking," he describes Aga's objective action: staring at rugs and cans of spices.

Although this creates a mental image of him. , But this image is not very accurate and does not involve any sense other than the sense of sight. In the second draft, Dawson wrote:

Aga walked the market as if stuck in a dream. The pungent scent of cinnamon and coffee filled the air, and he moved his fingers to touch the silky and golden round tassels of the saffron inside the barrels. This story can be described as such. When you want to show the details, try to go beyond the level of obvious and expected things.

For example, in describing the closing scene, it is expected that everyone is dressed in black and it is raining and the main character is holding an umbrella. Standing in front of his mother's grave. Isn't it better to focus on details that contrast with this sad atmosphere?

If a very emotional scene seems clichd, try changing the context or how the characters describe their emotions. The author Gail Carson Levine advises: Suppose it is Christmas Day instead of a typical day in South Texas. There is no rain and the weather is dry. Suppose something is written on the tombstone that no one can understand, but the mother of the family made a will on the deathbed to write this phrase on her tombstone. Suppose a friend asks the main character what the phrase means. At this point, thinking about the meaning of this strange sentence distracts the main character from mourning the funeral. In this case, the emotional scene is no longer a clich, because a different element has been added.

Principle 4: Avoid Excessive Reliance on Body Language

It is recommended in many writing circles to use body language or body language to implicitly refer to Use a character's emotions. For example, if someone is standing with their hands on their chests, it is a sign that they are angry. If someone taps on the table with their fingers, it is a sign that their patience is overwhelmed or restless.

These physical details can be effective shortcuts to describing emotions. However, it is possible that leaning on body language may seem like an unnatural and artificial "show".

In the real world, it is not uncommon for an angry person to be punched. Do you see his hands or teeth chattering? How often do you do these things when you are angry? Recourse to the usual gestures and facial expressions to convey a person's emotions is a quick and effective way to convey the moment's sense of character, but these descriptions seldom evoke an emotional response in the reader. The Live Write Thrive blog discusses how writers can convey emotions through the actions and thoughts of characters, not just through the five senses. "Describing the character who punched his hands may show us that he is angry, but it does not show us the reason behind this anger," he says. Is he nervous, has someone hurt him or is he jealous?

He gives an excellent before/after example in this regard:

The first draft (which places a lot of emphasis on body language):

The esophagus closes its eyes He opened it and looked at his watch. His heart was about to jump out of his chest. The child had slept for about eight hours. But little Jane, you never get more than four hours of continuous sleep. There must have been a problem.

Not again. When he remembered the last time one of his children slept a lot, the parts of his abdomen clenched.

At first glance, it seems that the story "shows" the character's emotions, because his heart and abdomen They are reacting to the situation. But due to the lack of subtlety, this description seems coercive and melodramatic.

In the second draft of this scene, the focus is less on physical reactions and instead the personality line of thought is described:

got up and looked at his watch. It was past eight o'clock. Little Jane had slept all night. For the first time.

Like Bailey.

Mary tossed the sheets over and stood up. Robod grabbed his shirt from behind the chair and put it on. He did not think of Bailey. Doctors said it was not going to happen again. The probability was one in a million.

Bailey was about six weeks old. Jane was almost two months old. This time it was different. It should have been different.

The second draft shows more momentary inflammation. . .

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(The Emotion Thesaurus) (Angela Ackerman) (Becca Puglisi) . ( (Wanderlust)) .

BingMag.com 'Show, do not say'; What is the meaning of this famous term in the world of writing?

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BingMag.com 'Show, do not say'; What is the meaning of this famous term in the world of writing?

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Source: Diane Kalahan YouTube Channel

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