Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Little Word Called When

I came across a wonderful blog a while ago on 'showing not telling'. It was by the author Janice Hardy, who has a real talent for explaining things. You can visit her blog here. I couldn't link the actual blogpost, but it was dated April 28, 2010. It is well worth checking out.

She has a list of words that can red flag when we are telling instead of showing. I did a search through my manuscript on these words and it highlighted many lapses. 

Here's the list: to, when, as, in, could see, the sound of, realized.

Not that we should do away with them totally. That would be impossible. But they do have the potential to lead into telling.

And the biggest offender in my manuscript?    WHEN!

It appeared 287 times. And apart from when it was used in speech, it almost always signaled a descent into telling.

Now, when I'm about to write that pesky word I stop myself and think again. So thank you Janice for your wonderful insight and your generosity in sharing it. 

Do go and check out her blog. It's full of helpful tips and information on writing.     

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sue,

    Sounds like a good, helpful resource. I often find myself 'telling' rather than 'showing'. It's an easy trap to get caught up in. Thanks for the link.