Finding the Personal in the Procedural: How to Reveal Details

Finding the Personal in the Procedural: How to Reveal Details

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One of the most common refrains from writing workshops is that writers need to show, not tell. Accomplishing that goal is the intent of “Finding the Personal in the Procedural." Procedural description tells your readers what someone, or worse, something, is doing. But what readers really want from fiction is to feel what it's like to be in that place and time, experiencing that moment with your character. Author Philip Athans looks at some specific techniques to personalize every moment of your fiction to bring your readers and your characters closer together.


Philip Athans is the founding partner of Athans & Associates Creative Consulting, and the bestselling author of Annihilation and more than a dozen other fantasy and horror books, including The Guide to Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction and Writing Monsters. Born in Rochester, New York, he grew up in suburban Chicago where he published the literary magazine Alternative Fiction & Poetry. His blog, Fantasy Author's Handbook, is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter @PhilAthans. He makes his home in the foothills of the Washington Cascades, east of Seattle.

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