Reblog: Showing – Not Telling Emotions by John W. Howell

Photo by Narupon Promvichai on Unsplash   Hi SEers. John here with you today. I’m going to further discuss the idea of giving characters life with …

Showing – Not Telling Emotions

Writers, we’ve all heard of the “show don’t tell” rule more times than we can count. We may think it’s overstated. We may get tired of hearing it. But I know from experience that even as much as everyone emphasises how important it is, so many authors (published, too!) still haven’t grasped the art of showing rather than telling. In my opinion, it’s a reminder we always need.

Characters’ emotions are actually where I see passive storytelling the most. It’s easy to say: “‘I hate you,’ Steve yelled angrily.” It takes more consideration to say: “‘I hate you.’ Steve’s fingers curled tightly into fists until his knuckles were white.” (In this case, you probably don’t even need to tell the reader that Steve is angry, considering his dialogue, but you get the point.)

That’s why I love this post from Story Empire. It’s so helpful because John lists several different emotions with “show don’t tell” descriptions you can use. It’s a great resource to refer back to, and I know that I’ll be keeping it around while I’m writing. I hope it helps you, too!

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