When I first started writing, I remember my fellow writers stressing that I needed to show and not tell. At the time, it was a foreign concept to me even though I had read tons of books and watched tons of movies. It’s like I had gone through life in some sort of zombie state as far as writing was concerned.
Years later, I absolutely understand the difference between showing an emotion and telling an emotion—both in films and in written form. I have a completely different appreciation for an authors ability to make a scene come alive in my mind and even make me feel what the characters are feeling. I love watching movies and seeing someone’s raw emotion so plainly on their face. This could be love, or it could be hate or longing or sadness. The unspoken emotions bring a sense of depth to movie.
The portrayal of emotions through books and movies is surely an art, especially if done well. It’s some thing that seems unique to humans many times. Occasionally, I will see the raw emotions in an animal’s eyes but even then it is uncanny because it feels human.
A gifted storyteller does more than simply tell us a story. They can paint a world and make characters come alive in our minds. They can take away the worries of today if only for a short while, and transport us to a place commanded only by the imagination.
Happy writing this week!