Characters need flaws to humanize them. When we try to follow this advice, sometimes we populate our stories with characters who are perfect except for one glaring issue, such as selfishness or insecurity. But how many of us have a single weakness?
Last February, I contracted a severe case of creative block. Inspiration seemed to pack its bags and depart for an unknown region. Everything I wrote sounded wrong, and artistic feats became a struggle. I couldn’t craft a poem, paint a canvas, or sketch a character! I’d never experienced such a widespread form of mental paralysis before.
“Show, don’t tell” is a mantra that writing teachers quote to conceal the challenges of story crafting, and their students regurgitate it to sound insightful—whether they understand the concept or not. It’s lasted through the decades because it defines the difference between engaging and boring fiction.
Today Josiah DeGraaf, Rolena Hatfield, and Daeus Lamb tackle a famous piece of writing advice: show, don’t tell. What exactly is the difference between showing and telling? Why is showing important? Should writers ever tell instead?
When people came from a distant land, they saw a light held in her hand, a rock that stood within the sand, that stood for liberty.
We live in a society that loves to overflow each day with pursuits. All too often, we pile on obligation after obligation. Our kids need a chauffeur, the church needs a Sunday School teacher, our mother needs a gardener, the writers group needs a speaker for next weekend, and the list goes on.
How would you like to join the Story Embers team and help us in our mission to guide and inspire Christian storytellers? Opportunities await, because we’re looking for more writers to produce quality content for our website.