Showing and telling strategy I thought up


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  1. #1

    Showing and telling strategy I thought up

    I described a bunch of bandits in my recent story as wearing ragged and taterred clothes. If we open the dictionary here is what we find:

    tattered

    adjective






    tat·​tered | \ ˈta-tərd


    \


    Definition of tattered



    1: torn into shreds : RAGGEDa tattered flag

    2a: broken down : DILAPIDATEDdecaying houses along tattered paved streets— P. B. Martin
    b: being in a shattered conditionled their tattered party to victory

    3: wearing ragged clothesa tattered barefoot boy



    It's a perfect way of showing sometimes when you see an example. Or you can then brainstorm more details.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  2. #2
    Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    Haha that's genius!


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  3. #3
    Thanks. Might be great for writing poems too. You explore the lexicon of abstract words, and you have more descriptive detail to work with. You can always imitate examples, or just take details from the dictionary entry. I wish I had tried that. I am at the 5000 word limit for a story. I want to rework small details bazz cargo mentioned. This is the way of doing it imo for me. It takes some effort. But it's good to polish a final draft. Sometimes significant details can be charged. By this I mean a small detail like a barefoot boy can help someone picture a conflict (negative denotation of the word in the subcontext). Also, this might not be new but it puts to use a dictionary game of sorts (done by creative writers). You collect words, that used in your stories can use more details or give you any sort of idea. It's great for the subconcious to think up either details or stories is also what I think it can do or accomplish. The brain is like a jigsaw puzzle for stories. When you make the connections you get ideas. You associate by using it.
    Last edited by Theglasshouse; February 19th, 2020 at 05:13 PM.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  4. #4
    Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    I think this, for me, is a similar process to how I get around telling when I should be showing. See the high-level, telling word, and think: "what does it actually mean? What does that look like? Describe that." I do the same with cliched expressions. If someone "runs like the wind", what, exactly, is happening? Then I describe that.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  5. #5
    I'm not sure I follow. The dictionary definition for "tattered" is "ragged." So what have you gained by describing their clothes using both words? How was it before and what did you change? And are you trying to give guidelines for showing, or for telling?

    Right now it just looks like you picked a word, looked it up in the dictionary, and said, "Yep, that's what I meant it to mean." Of course, that's the whole reason we choose the words we do, because their meaning is what we're looking for. So can you please clarify what exactly your revelation is?
    "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

    "I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story." - Tom Clancy

  6. #6
    It's an abstract concept. The adjectives you dont use in your writing can show details (or in my case I used: tattered and ragged). Dictionaries can define the word better. Sure tattered is the same word as ragged. It's repetition using a fancy word. This one adjective describes physical appearances. It looks at the viusal. Look for battered and see what you find? My character was battered.

    How's bare-footed sound to you if you don't know how a ragged and tattered person looks like or let alone picture it? It's like a dictionary game is what I am saying. You can get inspired by what you see in a dictionary. I don't say copy the world verbatim. But playing a game where you use a word in a dictionary is playing with your subconscious.

    I own a creative writing book where the dictionary game is used by selecting ten words you want to use in a story.

    Battered adjective

    Definition of battered
    1: damaged or worn down by hard use
    a battered old hat
    a battered truck
    2: injured by repeated blows
    the victim's battered body
    a boxer's battered face
    3: subjected to repeated physical abuse
    providing help for battered wives/children
    … the store turned into an impromptu women's crisis center, where battered women and mothers trying to rescue their daughters from abusive dads gravitated.
    — Donna Minkowitz

    The idea in the end is hopefully to brainstorm your own ideas and be inspired using the subconcious. You do showing at the same time instead of telling.

    To create plot of nowhere or to show detail is one of my goals using the subconcious mind when we least expect it to inspire an image (or plot).

    https://books.google.com.do/books/ab...ionary&f=false


    That's my source for the dictionary game which is done in creative writing to inspire the person to write like in my case it is going. Notice denotations, or our subconscious meanings.

    So that is what I am trying to get at.

    It seems I am not the only one that has done this at some point. To take a word and look it up in a dictionary especially if you don't know it that well and show it in a sentence in a work of fiction.

    A battered woman? That sounds like conflict to me if I described a person that way. It sounds like a significant detail. One that is important enough that it can affect the characters. If you decide to show it.

    Hopefully I got my point across. I gave an example as well as a source and showed how I would play this game which has been put into practice. I had the book. Maybe it came from my subconscious. It was a long time ago since I read it. I hope this satisfies with this explanation your question. I consider ragged and tattered a style error or a deliberate effect of repeating.But in either case I am trying to explain something else. Not the repetition but what to do to show instead of telling

    Either way it's a game for inspiration. You can't always show every word using a dictionary. But you can sometimes feed the subconscious mind. That's the second point I wanted to make. The first example tattered can happen if you don't have a picture of the word in your mind to then write it as fiction.

    That's what I am trying to say or explain and that is the point I was trying to have in mind when I made this thread.
    Last edited by Theglasshouse; February 19th, 2020 at 10:59 PM.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

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