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6

"Sadly, women in ancient China had no sense of self-respect." I'd like to disagree with this statement. When you say this, you are already thinking in modern terms. My area is European Middle Ages and at that time a woman had no power over her body. She belonged to her father, then to her husband. Does that mean she had no self-respect? Where does the ...


2

I would say, trust the reader, and trust your character. Although these things may not be "discussed", they can certainly be thought about by your POV character. She is doing something highly unusual, there must be (and have been) something highly unusual about her thinking. What was that? Is she fearless when all other women are fearful? A woman can be ...


1

Something similar has been a plague for my story telling. I finally found some to ask that understood the basic challenge. Their recommendation was to that as I tell me story, I only share enough information required to move the story forward. And, that I only relate the information important to my character’s frame of mind and that they would consider ...


0

My answer to this is quite simple: Show proof that they're wrong in-story. Doesn't have to be blatant, doesn't have to be screamed, but if you have a reader who is detail-oriented enough to pick up the flaws in a character's logic, they'll be detail-oriented enough to pick up on the tiny consequences that foreshadow the big one.


0

Use Bad Logic as the Villain's Character Flaw Logic is an abstract concept. Bad logic is a character flaw. In most characters, character flaws lead to conflict and growth. They influence the outcomes of that character's actions, and a character might reflect on them or change because of them. They help readers empathise as characters struggle. This ...


0

My take: (amateur writer, feels like I have the same problem as you do) Books are not a visual medium, be careful about using visual cues (like body language) to describe emotional states. Books however are excellent at portraying mental states. Instead of writing descriptively, consider writing narratively (as in you have a narrator explaining the story ...


4

Dialogue as a Way to "Show" Actions or Feelings There are books (Asimov's Foundation trilogy, for example) that rely heavily on dialogue rather than visual detail or authorial exposition to advance the story. The admonition to show-not-tell is a rule of thumb, not an iron-clad rule, and is intended to invite reader participation or plot advancement without ...


1

You say "non-verbal communication including body languages, facial expression, and social cue", but this is actually a very narrow aspect of Show, Don't Tell. I think you may be misunderstanding the term a little. To demonstrate, here's a few ways of writing the same thing, ordered (roughly) from most "Tell" to most "Show": "What are you talking about?"...


1

There are certain guidelines, and principles in writing, but not any real rules per se. There are things which may earn you low marks in school such as poor grammar, etc. But in the real world things are not that simple. Yes, in certain circumstances, it is better to describe in detail instead of just telling it as it is. But, an entire book written in that ...


3

As an alternative option, consider that if you have problems picking up on "show, don't tell" complexity from other writers, other people with Asperger's may well also have the same problem. You may not need to change your writing style at all. Instead, change your expected audience to people like yourself. Your writing group may not then be your expected ...


4

I'm an Aspie, and I'm a writer, too. Let me tell you how I did it in one case: A young child (in Thailand) is following Uncle Kiet, and tells him "I want to be a mahout (elephant wrangler) when I grow up". Uncle Kiet says "that's not for girls". Therefore, I have shown, not told, readers that the young child is a girl, because rather than being told, you ...


8

I will attempt to guide you through this topic. Let me start by saying this. I think you're being too hard on yourself because the clichés of how people react in stories is something that we all have to learn anyway, diagnosis or not. We don't usually write as reality is, we write as other people have written. Reality is just the inspiration for it. What ...


4

You say other's emotions are clear to you when people are giving verbal hints about them - when they're saying "this is fascinating" etc. This is one tool you could use in your writing. You can hint at emotions through the way a character talks. Commas and repetitions stress what is important; a character whose speech is more abrupt than usual, perhaps ...


7

Writing isn't really about showing what character's feel. It's about making the reader feel. You could even have a cold-hearted unfeeling robot (Terminator?), as long as that character makes your audience have the emotions you want them to have, you're doing it right. I'd suggest reading books, watching movies, TV-shows, and when you feel something, try to ...


9

"Show don't tell" is a general rule which basically means: immerse your readers in your story. It's not meant literally (as others have pointed out) and it doesn't just apply to body language. For example, don't state someone's personality then go into ordinary action and dialogue. Instead, have the character express that personality. If someone is kind ...


3

I'll add a thought to the good answers here that it sounds as though you are using your characters to advance a plot point. While we all do this, allowing your characters to behave naturally with one another without any demands upon them can be an interesting exercise. How would your characters interact in this scene if there was no need for them to expose ...


2

One of the most common ways to make exposition in dialogue natural is to have a conflict that inspires bringing it up. Your story is bound to need a conflict to drive it anyway, so you may as well take advantage of this. Think about a story in which two characters already know each other at the start, and at some point they argue. The first such argument is ...


2

One approach can be to put a prologue mini-story at the front where all this happens. Rather than having the Lord High Whatever say to the prince "As you know, 30 years ago your father, the king...", just write the story of what the king did 30 years ago as a chapter told from the King's point of view. Then skip 30 years to the current crisis and what the ...


3

I, and all of the others who might answer this question, are flying blind without knowing all of the details. Oh, well, I probably would be confused anyway. I too struggle with the show-rather-than-tell guidance. I tend to use dialogue to get the information out there but it can be strained. One of the techniques that I have used to relieve that strain is ...


6

You can do it in exposition, but in general if I find a conversation that requires exposition or background to proceed, it is a signal that the writer is "rushing to drama". The solution is previous scenes or exposition that accomplish delivering the proper context of the scene, and not immediately before the scene occurs. Probably in the first half of the ...


11

The thing that is often unnatural about giving exposition in dialogue is that both people having the dialogue should already be aware of what is being said. To solve that problem, you can either introduce a character who would reasonably not be aware of the situation, or you can tell that exposition instead of bringing it up in dialogue. Telling in this case ...


20

I'm a professional scientist; my point of view might help. The only way I can think of is to approach it analytically. Body language is a language you don't know. There are books on it, some contradictory (giving you freedom to choose). The parts you are missing is that instead of understanding the language and becoming fluent (on paper), you are trying to ...


43

I also have Asperger Syndrome. Before I explain how I "write around it", let me talk a little about showing and telling. Writing isn't what it used to be, and I don't mean that in a bad way. In competing with film and TV for people's attention, novels have started to mimic the way such media tell a story through what can be seen and heard. True, good ...


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