2.1 Show don't tell
This is a big week people. This week you’ll learn the single best way to take your writing from ho-hum to solid gold - scenes. And you’ll borrow some techniques from fiction writers to ensure your copy is colourful, engaging and captivating. We’ll:
- Find out how to show don’t tell.
- Consider the power of vulnerability and authenticity.
- Work out what scenes support your story and its key message.
- Learn why you should make yourself a ‘character.’
- See the importance of description and learn how to improve your descriptions with specifics.
- Discover how and why to use dialogue.
This week you’ll get serious putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to write compelling scenes that will bring your story to life.
Week 2 part 1 Writing in scenes
Ok, so you’ve got at least one story you wish to work on and your key message, or the moral to your story. Now, for each story you plan to share, you need to pick scenes from your life that back your key message. Writing in scenes is the key to writing that shines. It’s about telling mini stories within your story.
Writing in scenes is the best way to adhere to the golden rule of good writing - to ‘show not tell’ your readers. Consider these two sentences.
I was born in Timbuktu. My mum was amazing – loving, nurturing, caring. My dad was stern and mean. (This is an example of telling).
Mum enveloped me in a warm embrace after one of dad’s outraged rants about the mess we kids had made in our childhood home in Timbuktu. (This is an example of showing).
In the two examples we receive the same information but the second example paints a picture for us – it uses a scene and because we can 'see' it, we care.
If you’re writing a blog post, you’ll probably need one or maybe two scenes per post and they can be as short as one sentence. If you’re working on a bigger project, you’ll need many scenes and can get really creative in their detail.
Using scenes is the best way of including ‘stories’ within your story, of really engaging your audience with creative, lively and engaging copy. The scenes don’t always have to be extraordinary – sometimes their very ordinariness is what makes them so compelling. So let's dive in and work out how you can include scenes in your story by stealing some writing techniques from fiction writers.