One of the things that drives experienced writers and directors and actors and producers crazy is being given scenes that are all about what the characters in them are saying (or thinking) and not about what they’re doing.
Sitting and talking. Standing and talking. Eating and talking. Driving and talking. These are just about the dullest possible things that could be happening in a story, be it on the big screen, the small screen, the even smaller screen, or even in a book.
Fortunately, one of our favorite blogs, South Africa’s Writers Write, has a few suggestions for how to give your characters something to do that will make what they’re saying seem more interesting. Wait, did we say “a few?” Try 60. God, don’t you love it when writers writing about writing write so thoroughly?
by Kathy B
One of the easiest ways to show and not tell is by making your characters do things while they are talking or thinking about something. It could be anything including a chore, a daily grooming ritual, a hobby, or a group activity.
- Colouring in a book
- Shopping for groceries
- Working on a car or a motorbike
- Trying on clothes – at home or in a shop
- Taking a dog for a walk
- Playing a board game
- Playing a game of cards
- Giving a dog a bath
- Cuddling a cat
- Feeding pets
- Walking through a museum or art gallery
- Knitting, sewing, needlework
- Having a bath….