Show, don’t tell Reply

‘Show, don’t tell’ is perhaps better known than any other piece of writing advice. On Creative Writing courses it sometimes becomes a mantra repeated ritualistically. But what exactly does it mean?

see show, don’t tell exercise and video transcript

The ripple effect: connecting private lives and public dramas Reply

Lucy Tyler introduces her concept of ‘the ripple effect’ – the connections writers make between their characters’ private lives and bigger national and global issues.

see exercise and video transcript

Tone it down, writers: accuracy versus hyperbole Reply

Below this video there’s a passage full of over-stating – if you’re looking for a writing exercise, have a go rewriting it replacing the over-stated descriptions with something more subtle – with a true and accurate descriptions of the facts.

The smell of the pub was so vile that I nearly gagged. The noise was deafening and puddles of beer sloshed around the floor. Near the bar a group of nearly-naked women, their skirts like belts, screamed so loudly I thought glasses might shatter. I fought my way through the stench of cheap perfume and leant on the crumbling bar. The barman, a humungous knuckle-dragging lout, grudgingly poured me a beer and crashed it onto the decrepit bar, spilling most of the liquid over my feet. As soon as I sipped the beer I thought I was going to be sick. One of the women must have seen me wincing because her inch-thick layer of makeup cracked as she cackled to her cronies.

read video transcript

Writing stories: conflicts, objectives, & impediments Reply

Happiness is great, unless you’re writing a story. For a plot to exist, there has to be some conflict. And conflict arises when characters with objectives encounter impediments. This video introduces an exercise to help writers focus on conflict, objectives, and impediments.

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read video transcript