I write stuff for kids...and muse on writing, children's books, and the publishing industry in general

Monday, October 17, 2011

Third Campaigner Challenge - Show Not Tell

(Source)
Well, October is flying away, and the time has come for my Third Campaigner Challenge. It will be a bit different from the Second Challenge, as the lovely J. has volunteered to administer the judging (assuming we can get enough judges from the people who volunteered at the start of the Campaign--if not, we'll have to revert back to "like" judging). My thanks in advance to the judges for their help. Make sure you pop over to Concrete Pieces of Soul and thank J. for her efforts by following along.

Now for the Challenge (and please note the word count change!):
Write a blog post in 300 words or less, excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should show:
  • that it’s morning, 
  • that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach
  • that the MC (main character) is bored
  • that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting
  • that something surprising happens.
Just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: "synbatec," "wastopaneer," and "tacise."   (NB. these words are completely made up and are not intended to have any meaning other than the one you give them).
Here are some tips on "Show Not Tell" to help you out:
  • stay in the moment (describe what is happening to your character as it is happening to avoid telling)
  • avoid summarizing as much as possible (eg, "He stabbed her with a knife"). It can work well as a means of "skating over" unimportant details, or moving from one scene to another, but summarizing in the middle of a scene usually reads as "telling"
  • keep an eye out for words that (often) indicate the presence of "telling". Examples include "was" (or other forms of "to be") and "felt" (eg, "He felt scared" or "He was scared"). Though note that not every use of "was" is telling
  • try to avoid labelling feelings. Rather than saying, "I felt angry," describe what those emotions are doing to the characters, mentally and physically
  • but don't just describe the physical effects of an emotion (eg "I clenched my fists"). Dig deeper. Utilize the five senses, things the character notices or doesn't notice, and memories of past events, as well as physical reactions, to show how the character is feeling.
Once you’ve posted your Challenge post on your blog, pop back here and link directly to it in the Linky List below (please make sure you include the direct link to your post, not just the link to your blog!).

Entries in the Third Campaigner Challenge will close on Monday, October 24th (at 11.59pm EDT) (one weeks' time exactly). So make sure you get your post in the Linky List before then if you want to be eligible for a prize! As usual, while everyone is very welcome to take part in this Challenge, only Campaigners will be eligible for prizes.

There will be heaps of awesome prizes awarded this Challenge, for the entries that are judged the best, for Peoples' Choice Awards, and through Random.org. We're talking ARCs, books, critiques, and other items galore! My thanks go to everyone who has volunteered to donate prizes. You're all awesome!!!

I've again set up the Linky List to let you "Like" entries, so make sure you come back here and vote for your faves. This is an honor system, so please don't take advantage of this process either on your own or another's behalf. "Like" voting will close on Friday, October 28th.

I'll (hopefully) be announcing the winners before the end of October.

So, all that remains is to enjoy. Leave a comment to let me know you're doing the Challenge. Have fun writing your post, then pop round to the other entrants, check out their posts, follow and comment, and decide which entry or entries YOU like the best!

And don't forget to add your name and post link to the Linky Link below before 11.59 pm on Monday, October 24th!

IMPORTANT: DON'T PUT YOUR NAME IN THE LINKY LIST UNTIL YOU'VE WRITTEN YOUR POST - THEN LINK DIRECT TO THAT POST PLEASE (ie, insert the complete URL to your Challenge post, not your blog address/URL)


Don't forget to come back here and vote for your favorite entry/entries before Friday, October 28th!!!

Hope you enjoy the Challenge. How about you: any other "Show Not Tell" tips to add to the above list?

57 comments:

Sheri L. Swift said...

Thanks Rach! ; )

Jenny S. Morris said...

Sounds fun. I wish I could do onsite research for this. Thanks!

Lorelei said...

It sounds fun! But what's an MC? I don't know what you mean by this.

Could I be the only one who doesn't?

Liz said...

This one should be interesting. I'm going to have to ponder a bit before I get to it, though. (But a week's enough time for me to ponder.)

Cristina said...

this sounds awesome...

@Lorelei- MC is main character

Nick Hight said...

Awesome! This will be fun :)

And Lorelei, MC is an acronym for Main Character.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm in! Third time's a charm. :)

The Golden Eagle said...

This one sounds like the most challenging one to come! I'm looking forward to writing my entry. :)

Jeigh said...

Holy cow, how fun! I'm on it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hope you get a good turnout! I have scheduled posts and guests for the rest of the month and won't be able to participate.

treelight said...

Oh my, this certainly is the challengest challenge I ever had concerning writing, I think. LOVE IT!

Rachael Harrie said...

Really glad you like it guys :)

@Lorelei, I've clarified MC in case others aren't sure of the meaning either :)

Hugs,

Rach

Juliemybird said...

All right, the wheels are turning. :)
Thanks, Rach! This one's going to be nuts.

catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com said...

Awesome, I'll get my thinking cap on. If you need me to judge just let me know :)

Heather said...

This one is going to be so much fun! I can hardly wait to read all the entries!

Trisha said...

Oooh, fun fun - I already have grisly visions in my head!

David Powers King said...

That was an incredible challenge. I can't believe I was able to use my pre-planned idea and still make it work! Excellent challenge, Rachael! Thanks again for hosting this! :)

Jess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carrie Butler said...

Now, that was a challenge. Thanks, Rach! :)

S P Mount said...

Ye-eah... got my ridiculous out for this one, had a lot of fun with it. Number ten on the linky list, 'Introspective of a Monkey-man'. Thanks, these are fun exercises. Looking forward to reading the others.

Sher A. Hart said...

I decided to try reverse psychology this time. I wondered how many words I could spell wrong or even backwards and have people understand the meaning(s). Then I even spelled the title wrong in the linky-list. Slip of the fingers or slip of the mind? Never mind.

Sand Castles and Snow Forts said...

This makes me want to write the REST of the story.... what great fun! Thanks for the challenge!

Christy Farmer said...

Great fun-Thanks Rach:-)

Aldrea Alien said...

That was great. Inserting nonsense words is always fun. ^_^

#27 this time.

thepatientdreamer.com said...

Wow! Anything else we should know?....just kidding. Off to find thinking cap...lol.

Tara Tyler said...

cant believe i was already 19!
and i love made up words =)

Bonnie Rae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
@kankan929 twitter said...

I have to give props. These challenges really do require thought and decisive storytelling. ;-) Good luck to all who participate!

Super Happy Jen said...

Did I miss something. Did we announce the winners of the last challenge?

AveryMarsh said...

Another tough challenge, but I'm really going to miss these. Thank you, Rachael, for doing this.

Good luck to all the entrants!

Mina Burrows said...

WOW! I just saw this now. I'm on it. Thanks, Rach!

K. M. Walton said...

I'm in for this one - #30!! Thank you, Rachael for all you do.

Mel Fowler said...

I'm doing it and I did a flash fiction piece about one of my favorite characters in my book. Enjoy, # 41

MISH said...

PHEW! My brain feels "fried"
This was EXTREMELY challenging. I gave it a shot though and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Mine is no.#47

Jess said...

I loved this challenge! It's so sad that it's the last one

Michael Haynes said...

I liked this challenge. Very practical. Mine is #68.

Thanks to everyone who has worked to make this happen!

Deniz Bevan said...

How did you know I had a beach scene??? Great stuff, Rach.

J.L. Campbell said...

Sounds good. I hope I remember to write this up over the weekend.

Anonymous said...

Гимнастикa Позволяет поэтапно обучать различным сложным движениям, которыми невозможно овладеть на тренажерах. Так называемый этап адаптивной лечебной гимнастики.

Lorelei said...

Something happened to Linky List--I couldn't go there and list my post, and when I came back here, it was gone. I'm hoping the problem will be resolved soon???

Clarbojahn said...

I don't see the linky list either. Not ready with my story yet, just figuring out what I need to do.
Rach, can you help with the linky list? Anyone?..

Rachael Harrie said...

Thanks for letting me know guys. It should be fixed now :) If it disappears again, just give it a little break then refresh the page and try again.

Hugs,

Rach

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Gah! I'm sorry. I entered in the wrong link the first time, and as such, #85 is a duplicate of the real link of mine, #86. Is there some way to delete #85? Sorry about that!

Thanks so much for the challenge. It was fun!

Rachael Harrie said...

Hi @Julie, done :) Glad you enjoyed it :)

Hugs,

Rach

Joanna said...

you are doing an amazing job, Rach, thank you.

Rachael Harrie said...

*blushes* Thanks so much Joanna :)

Hugs,

Rach

Brinda said...

Thank you so much for all your hard work on this project. I have gained more than you know from this experience!

carrieannebrownian said...

I accidentally put the url of my blog in the title field. Is there a way to edit it, or is it fine as it was entered?

Rachael Harrie said...

@Carianne, your link was dead - it didn't lead anywhere. So it needs to be changed asap. I can do it, but given you put the wrong details in AND it doesn't lead anywhere, what I've done is delete your entry - please re-post it when your actual post goes live on your blog (not before). Hope that helps :)

Hugs,

Rach

Christine said...

Put the wrong title in... I thought you needed the name of the actual blog, not the title of the piece which is 'Reunion'. I enjoyed the challenge.

Rachael Harrie said...

Glad you enjoyed it Christine :) No probs at all, I've changed the title for you.

Hugs,

Rach

kelly said...

written and posted! This one was so much fun. :)

~kelly

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Rach,


I will have my post up by tomorrow. I had company this week and just discovered this challenge.

I hope you had a great weekend.

Michael

Tia Bach said...

I enjoyed this, but I must admit... I found it extremely difficult. Great practice, though, and I'll be working on my show-don't-tell!

Thanks! (I'm #118)

Barbara V. Evers said...

Squeaking in under the wire. Since I spent the weekend at a writer's conference at the beach, this had to fall into that theme.

julie fedderson said...

Ack, just missed it--messed up the time zones. Still posted one for fun, though!

jonyangorg said...

Thanks for organizing the Challenges and making these fantastic words (which I didn't get to use sadly)!

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