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18 June 2006 @ 10:01 pm
Show Don't Tell Needs Cameras  
I was just reading a note about how if a scene that you're writing feels like you're telling too much and not showing enough then try shifting the point of view around.

And that got me to thinking that it might be useful to pretend you've got a camera strapped to the head of each person in the room where a scene is taking place. The hero. The teammate. The guard. The villain. Everyone. See what they see. Play the scene from their perspective in your head. You don't have to write the different viewpoint, but you can just sort of look around.

That difference may tell you...

What the waitress sees as Dean sits there drumming his fingers on the table while he waits for his brother who is disturbingly late. Maybe she brings him extra coffee which he doesn't notice because he's too busy pretending to not watch the door.

May help you to realize...

That Ezra has shades of grey, and so when he sees a bank robbery going down the first thought in his mind isn't to save the bank teller, or the man in line, or even the teenage girl cashing her paycheck. It's not until the pregnant woman walks through after he's already decided to leave and save himself, that forces him to act on the side of good rather than of self-interest. Which then leads to the scene you had already planned where he gets shot.

Basically, I got to thinking that fleshing out what others think and see (even if those people aren't the focus of the story) might show you something else in the scene that helps jumpstart a section of writing to make it stronger without actually saying.

Dean is worried.

Ezra is a good guy despite his faults.

All part of that extra ammo for showing rather telling the reader stuff.

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