Back to basics – show don’t tell words

OK, so I have previously mentioned about show don’t tell and what not to write and what to write. Here is a tip for when you come to self-edit your work (you do self-edit, don’t you?). There are two words that you can look out for and either highlight or ring in ink to know that you are telling and not showing. They are:

1. In present tense: Am. If you write, I am happy, you are telling. So, instead write, I smile. I laugh.

2. In past tense: Was. He was upset. Instead write, he cried. He burst into tears.

I am sure there are more, but these two are the most obvious to me, and ones that writers often use.

 

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