Show Versus Tell

This post by Ksenia Anske originally appeared on her blog on 1/14/14. Note that it contains strong language.

Amazing how in the years of writing my blog, I’ve never touched on this subject. How did it get skipped? Perhaps because it’s spoken about everywhere all the time, so it became one of those obvious things everyone heard about and is therefore sick of. I dunno. Let me try a crack at it and see what you think. Of course it’s all about showing and not telling, as we have been told by teachers, writing peers, and all the other smart folk who have written awesome shit and are willing to give out advice. Well, I’ve written shit too, but not much yet, only on my 3rd novel. I can tell you that it’s not so much about show vs tell as it is about you vs your characters. WHAT THE FUCK? You say. WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU TO SAY THAT? I know, just a newbie writer, but bear with me. Let me explain. Okay, here goes.

It’s not you who is writing the book, it’s your characters. This was hard to realize, because it meant I had to rewrite whole passages in my current draft. What is it, you wonder? It’s life philosophies, the outlooks, the goals, the whatever you want to call it (various sources will call it various things), but basically, it’s what your characters want from life, at least from life you carved out for them in your book. It can be as primitive as getting drunk, still, it’s a valid goal, and with it comes a certain belief in certain things. Like, for example, in IRKADURA I’m describing one old drunk, a chauvinistic communist to the bone (I’ve met people like that) and a people hater, he especially hates those who are not Russian.


Click here to read the full post on Ksenia Anske’s blog.


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