Writing Tip #5-Show How Great Your Character is, Not Just Tell It

I’ve noticed in some of my manuscripts and in other books, mostly YA fantasy, that the main character being great at something is sometimes not shown. It’s just told how great they are, but there is never an example of it.

An example of this is when a writer writes about an assassin character who is supposed to be this bloody killer, which is an interesting set-up, but then show them not killing a person they were ordered to kill, even though it was stated before they don’t hesitate or kill first and think second.

I apologize if that was a bad example.

My point is I want to see an example of your character being great at this thing you are having them do so I can feel like I know them more and get behind their change in character.

I understand of wanting to just tell how great your character is and move on with the story to get to the interesting part, but it’s also amazing to get to know a character then see them change and be proud of their change. I’m not saying to show it in the very beginning. It can be shown through a memory or throughout the first half of the novel.

There are authors who show their characters doing the things they were described to do, like Leigh Bardugo.

Overall, you write the story you want and write your characters how you want to. I just thought it would a good idea to remind other writers to not just tell how great their character or characters are but to also show it.

Have fun writing!

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