Can you smell the sweet clover in the hay field your character has just mown? Or the contents of the family’s refrigerator after the power failed on the hottest day of summer? Or your beloved lake cottage when your family arrived on the first day of spring. . . and discovered that a pack rat had made its home under your bed?
If you can evoke those smells for your readers, if you engage their senses, they will be drawn into your story. Show, don’t tell. The oft-repeated rule is important, especially at the beginning of your story.
This one day writing workshop in Edmonton, Alberta will provide emerging writers with scene-building examples, passages that describe scenes so vividly that every one of our senses is stimulated.
Using prompts and discussion, we guide our students’ use of scene-building techniques. We will analyze the importance of scenes in a narrative and how effective works of fiction and creative non-fiction both show and tell. What works best? When do we show, when tell? Telling often feels easier, and it can be an efficient way to deliver information, context and even reflection and analysis. From childhood on, it is the way we relay a story. But showing, with all its sensory detail, pulls the reader right into your narrative.