Engaging Your Readers Through Emotion, Description, and the Five Senses OnDemand Webinar
“Show, don’t tell,” might be the single most common piece of advice authors of fiction both give and receive. But as storytellers, how do we tell a story without “telling” it? This is one of those places where craft (how to do it) gives way to art (how to do it well). What separates good authors from bad is that good authors bring us into the story, keep us there for as long as they wish, then return us to our own world feeling (not knowing—and there is a difference) as if we’ve actually travelled to some remote place and become some other person.
The art of writing fiction is something every author will spend a lifetime developing. Philip Athans begins this tutorial by defining the terms—what it means to show rather than tell, the all-important concept of emotional distance, and presenting characters as emotional beings. Then he shows by example, taking a look at how some exceptional novelists broke through “storytelling” and brought us into a deeper, more fulfilling experience.
Though we may be primarily visual creatures, appealing to all five senses can help bring your writing alive by keeping it deeply rooted in the visceral experience of your point-of-view character. Philip looks at more of the ways in which people experience the world around them, and how to infuse your characters with the complete human experience. It’s not enough to tell us what things look like, even the expressions on their faces. Show us what it’s like to be in that moment, including the sounds, the smells, and feel of it.
In this 59-minute tutorial, we’ll discuss:
- Emotional distance
- Show vs. tell
- Describing the experience
- Appealing to the five senses
- Characters as primarily emotional beings
- How and why we use our other senses
Every story is about people, and people experience the world around them with lots more than their intellect.