Time: 30 minutes

Show, don’t tell is a writing cliché to be sure but it’s a vital skill.  There’s nothing worse than reading story that reads more like a how to manual than an actual story.  Readers want to feel as if they’re there in the story with the characters.  That’s one of the reasons people read, to escape.  To hone this skill, spend some time practicing with your own personal memories.  This is a great way to really get into a scene because the senses are or were real to you.  Then, once you’re writing your fiction scenes you can close your eyes, imagine what your characters see, smell, hear and feel and add those elements to your scene.

Action Step #1 – Choose a childhood memory.  Any childhood memory, good or bad.

Action Step #2 – Write the memory at the top of a piece of paper.  Under the paper write the following words:  Taste, touch, sight, smell and sound.

Action Step #3 – Spend the next 20-30 minutes describing the childhood memory using your five senses.  Close your eyes and take yourself back to the memory in question.  What did you see? What smells were in the air?  What did you hear?  Be as detailed as possible to help the reader be right there with you.

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