Day 52 – Show & Tell

show and tell

Yesterday turned out be a bit busier than I expected and I didn’t get to do any work specifically on the murder mystery.

I did watch Dunkirk, which at the time I didn’t think had any direct input, there’s no mystery about what happened there.

Now, on reflection, I can see that any example of story-telling and creating a shared meaning has direct input.

I liked the movie, I cried more than once. It tells the familiar military story but focussing on some smaller personal stories.  There is very little dialogue.

Show – not tell.  The stories are told through the characters actions.  It’s a war movie and the big sweeping shots and massive machines tell the war story.  The small interactions between the characters tell the personal stories.

I feel comfortable writing set up, description scenes but that’s all telling.

I’m working more on dialogue which is literally telling but also does a lot of showing.

How do I write those intimate little moments?  It’s a classic opportunity for missed meaning.  I know what my intention is, what I want the reader to understand about the character or the plot.  My intention has very little impact on the reader’s interpretation.

My life experience has created a set of values, descriptions and intentions.  The reader’s life experience has created a different set of values, descriptions and intentions.

When I get very wordy in an attempt to clarify something through added explanation I can easily confuse the situation more.

Brilliant!  This realisation has two fantastic points.

  1. I can write a character who gets to wordy and complicates the simplest things (write what you know)
  2. I can concentrate on writing more meaning with fewer words.

Now that will be a new skill to learn!

I’m trying to find a character flaw for the protagonist that will hamper their investigation skills.  I’ve got a couple worked out for her personal life – too trusting, wants to see the best in people.  That wouldn’t work professionally.  She’d never want to name anyone as a suspect.

Is the wordy thing and option?  That she might confuse others around her but she knows exactly what she means? During the investigation other characters get the wrong idea and during the reveal she clarifies it all?

Not sure.

Suggestions for a character flaw for an amateur investigator please.



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