Have you ever entered a contest or gotten feedback from your crit partner or editor and in the comment section it’s highlighted in red, “show don’t tell.” The problem is no-one ever tell you how to do that. You read the books and think you’re doing your best, but are you really?
From my book:
Sophie didn’t know how long it took for the ambulance to arrive. It wouldn’t have been long, but to her, it seemed like an hour. ...With her heart about to explode in her chest, all she wanted was to take Paige in her arms and hold her. She wanted to fall to pieces like a normal parent.
Now I could have said- Sophie was so terrified that Paige wasn’t going to make it, that she held onto her and waited for the ambulance to arrive.
What I didn’t do is name the emotion. I also didn’t say she felt, or she thought but I am using the character point of view to grab the reader and pull them into the story.
So go back to your current piece of work and choose something that has an emotion mention, now have a look at how you can change that by not naming the emotion. Have some fun with it. I would love to hear some of your ideas and make it relevant to your character if you can.
I’ll be giving away an eCopy of my book, Falling Into Paradise to one commenter.
Kamy Chetty around the web: