When you attend a writing conference, workshop or book fair pay attention to how the established authors talk about their books. Note how they engage the audience. Do they tell you the story, how they wrote the story or a combination of both? Does the tone of their presentations match the genres of their novels? How do they project their voices and use body language to draw the audience in? Then, apply what you learned and decide how to best connect to your audience.
Category Archives: Practical Prompts
Often, writers struggle with telling readers how their characters feel, rather than letting them experience their joys, sorrows, frustrations and triumphs. To see whether you’re telling instead of showing, search your manuscript for typical “telling” words, such as “feel,” “think,” or “realized.”
Re-read the word in context to decide if you’re telling the reader or showing them. If you’re telling, rewrite it so the reader experiences the emotion. To learn more, check out Janice Hardy’s book, Understanding Show Don’t Tell (and Really Getting It).
It’ easy to use certain words and phrases over and over again. So, when you’re done writing a scene, take advantage of your writing software’s “find” function to see how often words appear in your prose. Now go through and cut the ones you can or re-write the sentences to eliminate the repetitions.
When it’s time to tighten a scene, study your characters’ thoughts and feelings and ask yourself what purpose they serve. If they don’t help your readers understand the character’s motivations, consider cutting those lines.