It’s fun to move my characters around in the story, literally. Are they standing, sitting, crossing the room, leaning back on the couch. Like many writers, I can get caught up in the words and am tempted to “tell” my reader what the character is doing or thinking instead of “showing”. Too many details stop the reader. Say Mary needs a snack. In some manuscripts, they have Mary get up from her chair, cross the room, walk into the kitchen, open the refrigerator, stare at the contents and finally grab an apple. You are weary by the time she finally gets there. We know she has to walk and that she’s going to the kitchen. Cut out all the movement. You can just say, “Mary began to feel hungry, and grabbed the last apple in the refrigerator drawer. The cold, juicy fruit tasted good as she contemplated (whatever is on her mind) ….. as she finished it and tossed the apple core in the trash.
In another instance, Mary is going to the funeral of her dear grandmother. You could say, John came into the room and says, “It’s time to go.” He brought her coat and held it out for her. “I just can’t believe she’s gone,” Mary said sadly. She put on the coat and grabbed her purse, making sure she had a clean handkerchief.
What if John enters the room quietly and says. “It’s time.”
A large tear made its way down her carefully applied makeup. She nodded.
Happy dialoging.Read More