I bet you, the writer, have heard the famous expression “ show, don't tell ”.
If we stop to reflect on this advice, we will find that it is not completely true. In fact, a good writer, when telling a story, must know exactly when something should be told and when something should be shown . An article was provided by pay for essay. If you liked article give them a look! Do you know how to apply these concepts in practice?
How to find the balance between scenes and summaries ?
We know that, in order for a story to progress, it needs passages that make the plot move forward at the same time that they reveal and illuminate the characters' traits.
This work is usually done through a clever combination of scenes and summaries.
When an author makes scenes and summaries complement each other when narrating a story, the progression of the narrative becomes fluid .
But how do you decide where to insert scenes and summaries?
It's simple - just visualize the plot of your story and all the elements that make it up. Certainly, there are events that happen as the narrative progresses, whether they are complex like a battle between nations or simple like a walk to buy flowers.
The writer can show these events through scenes to the reader, who becomes a direct observer of what he reads.
However, it is not always possible to introduce all the elements of a story through scenes. Often, the narrative needs to situate the reader on past events - be it an isolated event, or the story of a lifetime. For this, summarization is ideal, as it compresses time in a passage and forms “bridges” between scenes.
Scenes and summaries in practice
As we saw in this article, the scenes are in the order of movement, while the summaries are in the order of description . And there is no formula for weaving these elements into a weave. When telling a story, a writer can determine what type of composition best represents his style .
For example, there are novels that are started by summaries. We can notice this when the writer opens a fictional text using the narration of a past event that serves as a trigger for other events in history. This practice situates the reader and prepares him for the scenes that may come immediately afterwards.
To exemplify, let us observe the introduction of “ Um Amor Incômodo ”, by the author Elena Ferrante:
- "My mother drowned on the night of May 23, my birthday, in the sea of a place called Spaccavento, a few kilometers from Minturno."
Likewise, the author can choose to narrate a story differently and start the first chapter with a scene. This tactic is great for defining a more immediate and dramatic mood, and may even cause some intentional strangeness to the reader.
See, then, the introduction of “ Summer at the Aquarium ”, by Lygia Fagundes Telles:
- “He came silently. He leaned over my bed. His transparent fingers almost touched my shoulder: "Root, Root!" There was a rose instead of the face, but the sweet breath was mint. Daddy, you drank again! ”
So, how are you going to tell your story?
Did you see how the technical elements of narration can make all the difference when telling a story ? Knowing how to show is, yes, crucial for literature, but knowing how to tell is another secret to building a good plot.
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