“Don’t Scream.”

Guest Post by Carolyne:

Telling:

He had a soft but demanding voice. His words were dark and rhythmic as they entered my ears. He pressed himself against me and I stood straighter. I tried to concentrate on his words but the smell was drowning out all voice of good reason within me. That was the same musk my psychopathic step-father wore. Could it be him?

He stopped talking. My heart stopped beating. His blade ran down my neck. He had my attention.

“Don’t scream”, he whispered and I complied with his commands.

87 words

Showing:

The words left his mouth like words leaving the mouth of a mother cautioning her child, but yet I received them as though they came from a stern army veteran. His words tapped into my ears like the rain taps on a window on an inky night. His feet inched forward until they made contact with my heels. I was determined to be a good ruler as I attempted to increase the distance between us. I creased my forehead- zeroing in on every syllable uttered- but my nose was sending distress signals.

That was the same musk that clung to my psychopathic step-father. Could that be him?

The mechanical movement of his jaws – up, down, up, down- like a broken record stuck on repeat, finally found a resting position. If one could see the electrocardiogram of my heart at the moment, one would only see a flat line. An object, I could only imagine belonged in butchery, found its ice-cold tip outlining the general direction of my vertebrae. Desperate not to miss anything, I clung to his every action.

“Don’t scream”, he whispered and immediately I begun the long and tedious battle of maintaining the silence.

196 words

What are your thoughts, class? How is Showing, not Telling working here?

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20 thoughts on ““Don’t Scream.”

  1. Leah says:

    By showing heat happened she creates an atmosphere of extreme suspense or tension. It demonstrates the fear the person was feeling by describing the atmosphere around her.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Samu says:

    In the first passage it’s written that a blade ran down her neck and in the second, instead of simply writing that, the blade becomes anonymous, described as something that would be found in a butchery, of which one would probably guess is a knife, as it coldly ran down her vertebrae. This really amplifies the tension in the second passage then in the first.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Daphine says:

    in the second passage which is showing instead of telling Carolyne used more words than in the first passage. This is showing us that by showing instead of telling you use up more words for the same idea or thought and can therefore achieve the necessary word limit which you may challenged with in essay writing. Also by showing instead of telling more description and imagery is created which makes the story more interesting to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ashleigh_hugo_22 says:

    the writer has used his language in showing not speaking to leave the readers in suspence. The imagery used in this passege helps the reader imagine the feeling the writer is trying to acheive such as: “tapped into my ears like the rain taps on a window on an inky night” helps cretae the feeling of being scared and indicates that his words were sterm yet light and not loud like rain on a window. Other phrases like “The words left his mouth like words leaving the mouth of a mother cautioning her child, but yet I received them as though they came from a stern army veteran.” this creates a felling that thing can be percieved as another as he is not shouting but is not telling her in a calm way,he is instructing her in a stern way to keep quiet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. weareoxymorons says:

      Promising, Ashleigh! All the sections you’ve lifted out really contribute to a sense of intrusion, which I think suits the subject matter, don’t you think?
      (btw, take care with simple spelling errors! They’re easily avoided, especially in this forum).

      Like

  5. Brittney says:

    the writer has used way more words and phrases to create more of and atmosphere and tension in the showing part where as in the telling part there was tension but it was almost told to you wherr as in the second part or “showing part” you have to look for the tension its not just been told almost. i much prefer the shwoing it makes the passge more inetrstinf to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alisha says:

    When using showing instead of telling the reader receives a clearer image and is also able to picture exactly what the writer is saying. The reader Is able to create a scene in their head making the passage more interesting to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Francesca says:

    The writer by showing instead of telling creates atmosphere and mood. By showing the reader the scene the writer allows the audience to create their own image, working on personal emotions and expectations. This allows the audience to clearly visualize the scene and imagine the different emotions and reactions in play. This creates suspence and also reinforces the fear that the audience would feel. By showing instead of telling the writer also demonstrates a better and more intimate knowledge of the English language. This is shown by his/ her ability to manipulate the images and emotions created within the extract at the same time retaining interest and entrigue

    Liked by 1 person

      1. weareoxymorons says:

        Put another way, don’t you think that because the reader had to think more about the imagery, the effect lingers more because it is internalised, that is to say, it is pieced together slowly in the mind of the reader.

        Like

  8. Courtney Ward says:

    When the paragraph is show the word count is more than doubled. It is also more interesting and gripped to be shown rather than told. The longer and more descriptive version help to create a clearer picture of wjats going on rather than the short, basic version which gives the bare minimum.

    Liked by 1 person

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