In the writing world, the current mantra of ‘show vs tell’ is all over the place. But if you over analyze the statement you begin to ask, what does it actually mean? But before you have a meltdown and end up on the street shouting out phrases like ‘But technicallyisn’t everything you write telling in some form or another?’ or ‘These examples are too small (even though they are great, you just want more). Stop and just admit you want someone to not chastise you for saying, ‘Just tell it to me like I’m an idiot.’ Well here is that answer:
Show vs Tell is pretty much Scene vs Summary.
I just came across a TedTalk by John Dufresne and he gives a great description.
‘Scene is vivid and intimate and Summary is distant and efficient‘. He says this at the 4.20 mark in the video below.
The best tip when coming to write strong characters, regardless of gender/orientation etc, is to write them as human beings. They have strengths and weaknesses, wants and desires, positive and negatives elements in their lives and personhoods. They are people existing in a world that owes them nothing and they must navigate it.
Also when searching for videos of writing ‘strong’ characters, I was pretty much getting results that focus on females. I mean is it really so hard to write a well-defined character that a perons is so affected by gender? One of the comments under this video mentioned was just write a good character but have them female. Are some people so incompetent when it comes to this? I mean ultimately you must be bad at characterisation period.