A TIP FOR SHOW, NOT TELL

If you’re using a lot of adverbs and adjectives, you’re showing, not telling.

Although adverbs and adjectives receive a lot more hate than they deserve, whenever possible, cut them out and instead think of ways you could show your character is angry, instead of telling.

Example:

Telling: The girl kicked the wall angrily and said, “I hate you.”

Showing: The girl kicked the wall and said, “I hate you.”

Here is a list of things your characters can do when they’re angry.

You don’t need to state the emotion when her words and action show us she is angry.

Example 2.

Telling: Alice walked through the mall slowly.

Showing: Alice strolled through the mall.

An example for replacing adjectives with showing.

Beautiful does not really tell us much about a person.

Showing: Wow, oh wow. Your soft, hazel eyes are pulling me into your soul.

Instead of naming emotions, use actions.

Instead of telling us that Mila is bored, show us she is yawning and doodling on a scrap of paper.

Instead of telling us that Scott is panicked, show us that he is hyperventilating and squeezing his eyes shut.

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