Thursday, October 18, 2012

Show Don't Tell

As writers, we hear this all the time. We need to show the emotions of our characters, not just tell the reader what they're feeling. At times this is easier said than done. One of the main revisions requested by an editor on "This Feels Like Home" was to use more showing and less telling. To be honest, I thought I was. Obviously I need to revisit what I know about these two things.

Then, while I was checking e-mail the other day, an article popped up on my homepage along the lines of "Signs that tell you a man is in love with you". Well, the timing of that couldn't have been more perfect. Bring it! So, I clicked on the link and got these eight fabulous 'signs' from the people at Cosmo. Apparently they polled 'real' men (As opposed to what? Fake ones?!) to get these answers. In short, I don't care how they got them...or even if they made them all up. All of these definitely focus on showing, rather than telling, and I plan to incorporate several into my revisions.

1) - You catch him staring at you.

2) - He gazes into your eyes.

3) - He buys you food you like.

4) - He keeps your stuff out at his place.

5) - He talks about the future.

6) - He wears the sweater you gave him.

7) - He stands right next to you in public.

8) - He's okay with you answering his phone.

I love them all. This is a list I will keep handy so my heroes can show off those tender feelings of love, even if they're not quite ready to say those three little words.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


An Unexpected Blessing - coming November 21.


  1. I saw that article too! Only it didn't occur to me to use it for writing (must have been half asleep). But you're right, they're great ways of showing a man loves a woman (although I'd save it for younger men).

  2. That's a great list, Debra - must remember all of them!

  3. Jen, my heroes are usually in their late 20s/early 30s so it should work. That's funny that you saw the article, too.

    Paula...I printed out the whole list with explanations and put it in my idea file. :)

  4. These "tells" definitely would work to show.
    especially answering his phone.
    I suspect each hero would have his own 'signature' way of showing his feelings, too.