Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Story with no words - My 100th post!

My 7-year-old is taking an acting class. The homework this week is to tell a story, without using words. As a writer, this is a completely foreign thing for me. But, without batting an eye the child acted out picking a flower and presenting it to me. Hmmm.

We can tell a story - and that's nice. Or we can show a story to our readers through our words. Showing your reader the story invites them to watch a movie in their minds. The reader can see, hear, and feel what your character is feeling.

Use descriptive words that put the reader firmly in the time and place.

1. I ate cold pizza out of the fridge.

2. My stomach growled as I opened the fridge. Of course, the pizza! The cheese had coagulated, but it looked edible. Maybe. I grabbed a slice and took a bite. Not bad, if you don't mind congealed pepperoni.

Not the best example, but you get the idea (hey, I'm still perfecting it too). Number 2, showing the action rather than just telling what happened, clearly puts the reader in the mindset of the character.

Of course you have to use words. Feel free to share your own examples!


Anonymous said...

Ha Ha. A story with no words sounds so foreign, but maybe we need to try it out more often. Acting is very close to showing!

Tina Laurel Lee said...

Smart! Followed you from literary rambles. But, of course, I have already seen your comments around. We have to figure out how to do the blogging thing without words. Laura already figured out how to narrow it down to just one!

Heather Kelly said...

Kris--I love cold pizza--at least I did until I read this post. LOL. Vivid. This makes me want to play charades!

Kris said...

Thanks, Heather and Tina. And thanks for stopping by my little corner. I'm working on it!

Elana Johnson said...

I don't like leftovers. I would open a can of soup. And I do think sometimes there is more power in simply pictures rather than words.

Kris said...

Personally I would starve before eating cold pizza. Yuck.

It always amazes me how some writers can evoke such vivid pictures for me from "mere" words -- I strive to be a writer who can make that magic happen.

Kelly said...

Happy 100th post!

Kris said...

Thanks! I'm just getting started... I appreciate you stopping by, Kelly!