A TUESDAY FEATURE
host: Muskaan Ahuja
𝐎𝐧 𝐃𝐞𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐖𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠: 𝐍𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐕𝐞𝐫𝐛𝐬 We have already exploited the technique: 𝐒𝐡𝐨𝐰, 𝐃𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥 to such an extent that we know how to stir the reader’s imagination and show him/her a concrete picture. Today, we shall have a closer look at what makes such a writing tick. “The writing which SHOWS relies on nouns and verbs instead of adjectives and adverbs. Verbs immediately show actions. Adjectives barely scratch the surface. Consider these two lines: 𝟏. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐛𝐚𝐝. 𝟏. 𝐀 𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐬𝐡 𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐬. 𝟐. 𝐈𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐚𝐥𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐲 𝐅𝐚𝐥𝐥. 𝟐. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐫𝐲 𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐜𝐫𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐝 𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐦𝐲 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐭. Guess which one provokes imagery? The first one is telling a scene while the second one is showing it. There’s action in the second one. It is said that verbs are the emotional packet while nouns are the meat in haiku. You may use adjectives but don’t overdo them and make sure your writing looks balanced. Don’t tell your reader what to think. Show the emotion and let the reader feel it. Instead of telling “𝐇𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐥𝐚𝐳𝐲.” Show: “𝐇𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐛𝐥𝐮𝐞 𝐬𝐤𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐧𝐣𝐨𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐦.”
Look...you actually felt that! Try writing the show version of the following using nouns and verbs:
“𝐈𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐥𝐲.”
As is the custom, I leave you with a quote by Anton Chekov: “𝐃𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠. 𝐒𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐠𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐨𝐧 𝐛𝐫𝐨𝐤𝐞𝐧 𝐠𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐬."