Palahniuk and Pound on Showing, Not Telling

Here is a re-post of an informative blog post by writer, Mike Tuggle, on improving prose. As I read Mike’s post, I was reminded of one of my favorite authors, Ray Bradbury, who presented an incredibly descriptive writing style much like that suggested.

M.C. Tuggle, Writer

Chuck Palahniuk

While marinating ideas for my next writing project, I’ve been scrounging the web for articles on improving my prose, and I wanted to share one I thought was particularly good. It’s from bad boy Chuck Palahniuk, who’s on the warpath against what he dismisses as abstract “thought” verbs:

These include: Thinks, Knows, Understands, Realizes, Believes, Wants, Remembers, Imagines, Desires, and a hundred others you love to use.

The list should also include: Loves and Hates.

And it should include: Is and Has, but we’ll get to those, later.

Until some time around Christmas, you can’t write: Kenny wondered if Monica didn’t like him going out at night…”

Instead, you’ll have to Un-pack that to something like: “The mornings after Kenny had stayed out, beyond the last bus, until he’d had to bum a ride or pay for a cab and got home to find Monica faking sleep, faking because…

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