Show Don’t Tell
Today @Callie_Carmen talks about how to 'Show Don't Tell' with our latest #NaNoWriMo post. Take a look during writing breaks dear #WritingCommunity! Click To Tweet
by Callie Carmen
As a writer, I’m committed to improving my craft daily. I find so many ways to do that with articles, books on the subject, and blogs that authors have written. My editor, Laurie Sanders, is a wealth of information. She even teaches classes on how to become a better writer. My publisher, Richard Savage of Black Velvet Seductions, always has helpful ideas.
And then there’s Google. It sometimes feels like a close, intimate friend. One that I can ask just about anything. And believe me, I do. If I showed my Google research history to any of my friends, they’d think someone that looks like me had replaced me.
When I was working on my latest novel Joshua (Risking Love Book Five), I wanted a fresh way to describe puppy-dog-eyes. So I Googled it. I was pleasantly surprised to find this facial cheat sheet blog with pictures put together by Nicholas C. Rossis. It didn’t give pleading as an example, but I found these seven emotions shown as show-don’t-tell helpful. I thought you might too.
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Bella spent the last year with a man that barely touched her. It was high time that she got some hot, passionate sex. The only problem was it couldn’t be with just anybody. It had to be with someone special.
Should she choose the gorgeous club owner? Or the mysterious, sexy businessman? Which of them would let her explore a secret desire for a little non-vanilla passion in and out of the bedroom?
Joshua is the fifth novel in the Risking Love series. The stories chart a group of friends through life and love. These steamy stories will have you laughing, crying, and your heart racing.
Show-don’t-tell cheat sheet: facial expressions
Authors often struggle with depictions of emotions. We’re supposed to show them, describe them. For example, “she was surprised by this” is a big no-no, and considered lazy writing. “Her eyes widened and her mouth slacked”, on the other hand, gives us the very image of surprise, without ever mentioning the word.
As you can imagine, this can be tough. But fear not, for thirty years ago, Paul Ekman did cross-cultural research and identified seven basic human emotions. He identified the seven basic emotions through facial expressions. No matter where in the world, what culture, class, race, gender, or lighting, these seven facial expressions were identified across the board: