“Am I revealing…

“Am I revealing character through behavior and action, or am I relying on telling the reader who the characters are?”

Al Watt, The 90-Day Rewrite

I know I’m a broken record when it comes to this book. But heck yeah. I love that quote. It’s helped me see my writing in new ways, which is always needed. Telling is so easily slipped into my writing, I barely recognize it until forced to edit. Then when I do it’s, “Hello! Where’s the action?” When I read other books I adore, I immediately notice characters’ behaviors. And love them. We all have quirky things we do. Why shouldn’t characters? How they eat their food. How they react when nervous. How they use their hands when talking. How they like their clothes. Their bed. Their room. Every behavior is an opportunity to reveal character. I’m learning, readers. Learning to show more. Tell less.

A rough attempt:

“That night, I lie on my bed in my favorite nightgown. Comfort always seems to cure my anxiety, which is why I’m also holding three huge sugar cookies I snagged from the kitchen and eating them as slowly as possible. Savoring each and every bite. Even scooping up the pieces that drop onto my bed. I’ve got A History of Namings flipped open beneath me, though I’m more busy pressing a finger dotted in crumbs to my mouth when I hear a knock on my door.”

Anyone else?


3 thoughts on ““Am I revealing…

  1. I love that quote from Alan Watt. It can be a tad difficult, but it’s something I always like to keep in mind when I write. Show, not tell. It helps me realize I need to take it a bit slower and take my time, figuring the character out. What their likes and desires are. Sure, they do tend to grow a life of their own, on their own, as I write. That’s one reason I really like the 90-Day Novel. It helps you figure that stuff out. Makes it a bit easier to show and not tell.

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