Show and Tell in Writing

CEOLSIGE

If you submit your creative writing for critiquing, you’ll quickly become familiar with the phrase, “Show, don’t tell.”

According to the modern critiquer, “telling” is an unspeakably evil act in the realm of creative writing. You must never tell. Always show.

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, showing is more interesting for the reader. On the other, well… Imagine if you had, back in kindergarten, had “show” instead of “show and tell.” Imagine each child holding up a random ass item, allowing the other children to stare at it for a length of time, then wordlessly returning to their seat.

There is room in the world for show and tell, and both are important. I don’t see a need to show everything, but this is where my stance on the matter shifts.

Showing is so much better.

Showing happens in verbs. With action.

Back to the…

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3 Must Have Writing Tools

CEOLSIGE

Using great tools may not automatically make you a great writer, but it’s also hard to write at your best when you’re dissatisfied with your word processor. Maybe the fonts are rendered poorly, or the interface is cluttered with too many distracting options. These are a few of my favorite writing tools for word processing and editing.

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A Quick Guide to Avoid Head Hopping

CEOLSIGE

Head Hopping: What not to do.

“It’s spelt grey,” said Bertha, slamming her fist down on the restaurant table. “G-R-E-Y.” How was Barnaby dense enough to believe otherwise?

Barnaby looked into Bertha’s beady, unintelligent eyes and seethed. “No, it’s spelled gray. G-R-A-Y.” He felt ready to up and leave her sitting there at the diner.

Close-Third Person: What you can do.

“It’s spelt grey,” said Bertha, slamming her fist down on the table. “G-R-E-Y.” Barnaby was such an uncultured idiot. Why was she even hanging out with him?

Omniscient: What you can also do.

“It’s spelt grey,” said Bertha. “G-R-E-Y.”

She couldn’t wrap her head around how stupid Barnaby was, and he felt the same.

Standing from the table, Barnaby slammed the cash for his meal onto the table. “That’s it; I can’t stand your pretentious spelling habits another moment. I’m going to the theater alone.” He felt…

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Know Your Characters

Characters are the lifeblood the story. You can fabricate a setting that lives and breathes, but without characters to thrive in it, you do not have a story. Characters without characterization are all but useless. Don’t get me wrong: they can still carry out all the actions the story requires, bringing it from beginning to [...]

My Favorite Fictional Characters

For me, characters make the story. Needless to say, I'm a big fan of character-driven plot. Here's a list of some of my fictional homies: Wolf Larsen Wolf is the captain of the Sea Wolf, the boat in the novel ...Sea Wolf. He's masculine, tough, and almost a little animal in his nature. His simple, [...]

Book Review – Vicious, by V.E. Schwab

Vicious is another book recommended to me by a friend. I’d never read anything by the author, V.E. Schwab, but the premise sounded good. I’ve always loved fictional moral ambiguity, and boy does this book have it. Premise The main character, Victor Vale, and his best school buddy, Eli (soon to be Eli Ever), give [...]