Writers Write is your one-stop writing resource. In this post, we show you how to ‘show and not tell’ in short stories.
‘Show, don’t tell’ is good advice for any writer, but even more so for a short story writer. The limited word count means our writing has to work harder. We really need to pack a punch. Here’s how.
How To Show And Not Tell In Short Stories
1. Express emotion as action:
2. Choose a viewpoint character:
3. Use the senses:
4. Be specific:
The more specific you are with your descriptions and actions the easier it will become to show.
5. Avoid these ‘telling’ words: is, are, was, were, have, had
6. Use dialogue:
This is one of the simplest tools to use. The moment your characters start talking, showing becomes easier.
Show, don’t tell is a very powerful writing tool. Keep practising.
Top Tip: If you want to learn how to write a short story, sign up for our online course.
by Mia Botha
Buy Mia’s book on how to write short stories: Write the crap out of it and other short story writing advice