14 Introduction to Description

In this section, we will examine the role of description in your writing. You will discover that description is an essential tool in the Show, Don’t Tell Methodology. At the most basic level, it is used to paint a picture in the reader’s mind, allowing the reader to clearly see your story’s elements. However, on a subtler level, description can be used to express emotion.

The Show, Don’t Tell Methodology teaches us that we must remove all backstory, emotion and plot development from the narrative and, instead, present it in a way that engages the reader.

It is essential that the reader is never told (NO TELLING in the narrative sections) about backstory/emotion/plot but, instead, discovers it as they read.

The first port of call in this process is dialogue. After all, how better to pass along backstory and plot than from the mouths of your characters?

However, emotion presents a new challenge. You will discover that the way the characters react, and how you describe this reaction, will help express emotion to your readers.


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