Oh, look- they’re describing Kelly’s nails and how they have cute baby pandas on them.
Now they’re describing Mrs. Meyer’s one lone gray hair that she didn’t dye to show how she’s so “old.”
And don’t forget the neighborhood Mr. Grumpy Pants that goes into detail about how his lawnmower sputters to life to cut the lawn for hopefully the last time that summer.
What do all of these things have in common?
If it isn’t a part of your grand scheme to help character building or support the plot, I’m sorry to tell you this, but you should consider scrapping it because it’s only extra fluff that your readers don’t need to read.
For instance, describing Kelly’s nails isn’t super important- unless you make it important.
What if Kelly always gets pandas on her nails because pandas remind her of her dead grandmother, who was the only one in her family that Kelly felt who truly loved her? Or Kelly’s friends were suspicious that someone was pretending to be Kelly, and getting a glitter mani-pedi instead of pandas was the final nail in the coffin that someone WAS impersonating her?
Those details aren’t only pure “fun fluff” anymore, but they’re important to the plot and character development. That right there is awesome foreshadowing that your readers will gobble up like turkey on Thanskgiving Day.
And that, my friends, is entertainment.
Tip: Description slows the pacing down, and action speeds the pacing up.
Finding the balance between slow and fast is the recipe for making things interesting as well. There’s a reason why it’s called “Show & Tell” in the writing world, not “Show & Show” or “Tell & Tell.”
Grabbing a long metal pole nearby, I slipped it in between the door handles side by side and prayed for the best. I always saw that move billions of times in the action and suspense movies I watched late at night with my ex boyfriend. Who knew I would’ve had to test it out in the future?
Good. Not bad, but decent. Let me show you better.
Glancing around, I spotted a long metal pole nearby and grabbed it- shoving it between the two door handles and bolting off down the hallway. I silently prayed it would hold. Maybe those long nights staying up watching action and suspense movies with my ex boyfriend weren’t a waste after all.
There we go- just right. The difference is that I didn’t make my internal monologue explain where my protagonist got the idea to shove an iron bar between door handles. I only showed you what was on her mind at the exact moment of what was going on, which was the memory of the movie that she was watching with her current boyfriend at that time, and told it.
In short: I showed you that she had an idea, how she applied the idea, and then finally told you how she got the idea (without describing every detail).
And that is also entertaining. ♣
So now that you know how to spice things up and add interest, please-
Entertain us! Show the world what you’ve got to offer.
Thanks for reading all the way to the end of my post!