Here are 10 verbs that make you tell:
How do you avoid using them? Show how your character feels by her actions. Use strong verbs to describe her state of mind.
Don’t say: Sarah appeared to be angry as she put her books on the table.
Do say: Sarah slapped her books on the table.
Don’t say: Angus seemed distracted as he walked along the road.
Do say: Angus paused in the road. A car’s brakes screamed. ‘Hey, watch out!’ He jumped at the sound of the angry driver’s voice. ‘Why don’t you look where you’re going?’
Don’t say: Harry decided to visit the more appealing of the two countries.
Do say: Harry grabbed a pen. He drew up two columns. New Zealand or Germany. Which of the countries was more appealing? This to-do list would help him decide.
If you enjoyed this post, read:
- Cheat Sheets for Writing Body Language
- Three simple ways to show and not tell
- Five instances when you need to tell (and not show)
If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.
Write to communicate.