character development tagged posts

Critique Technique, Part 12: Showing and Telling in Character Development

“Show, don’t tell.” We writers get told that all the time. ALL the time.

The thing is, neither telling nor showing are wrong, per se. What’s “wrong” is relying on either one too much, or using one technique where the other would be more effective. This is true in character development and revelation as much as it is in any other aspect of writing. Kristen Lamb discusses this here. As a reviewer, you should be looking for whether a writer is using either of these techniques less well than they could.

Let’s take a few examples. Carol’s relationship with boyfriend Bob is everything she hoped and dreamed it would be...

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Critique Technique, Part 11: Lack of Character Development

One of the key things readers want to see in a story (fiction or non-fiction) is some sign of change in the characters over the course of the story—positive, we hope, but that isn’t required. The protagonist may not get what he wants by the end, or even what he deserves, but he should grow or change in some way. The same is true for the secondary characters.

Even the antagonist needs to change. She doesn’t have to see the light, realize the error of her ways, and become the good person we always knew she could be, and that she always wanted to be deep down inside...

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