All posts by

Dave Kavanaugh

Show vs Tell: Active vs Passive

Show vs Tell: Active vs Passive

Regardless of your chosen genre, intended audience, or personal author’s voice, you should always be trying to write clear, concise, beautiful sentences. One way to do this is to make sure you’re writing in the active voice. There is a time and place to use the passive voice, and we’ll talk about that a little…

Show vs Tell: Five Senses

Show vs Tell: Five Senses

Including detailed sensory descriptions can help breathe life into your prose. The right details can add color to the page. They can create soundscapes, scents, textures, and atmosphere. But to be effective, your sensory details shouldn’t feel telegraphed, overblown, or random. You want to choose details which not only cause images, sounds, smells, etc. to…

Show vs Tell: Info Dump Part Two

Show vs Tell: Info Dump Part Two

See Part One here. Why and how to ‘tell’ So, we see why showing is awesome, but there are reasons why an author will sometimes want to ‘tell’ instead. If you look back at my first example of show vs. tell (the one about the big city), you’ll notice that showing requires a lot more…

Show vs Tell: Info Dump Part One

Show vs Tell: Info Dump Part One

We’ve all read them. We’ve all written them. How can we avoid the dreaded info dump and instead pace our reveals for our readers? Here is how.

Grammar Rules: How to Break Them

Grammar Rules: How to Break Them

“Some men just want to watch the world burn.” -Alfred Pennyworth, The Dark Knight (2008) As usual, Sir Michael Caine is right! In the case of that quote, he happens to be referring to the comic book villain the Joker, who desires to watch Gotham City burn itself to the ground just for the fun of…

Sentence Structure: Clauses and Phrases

Sentence Structure: Clauses and Phrases

Language is complicated. Our brains usually deal with the complexities on autopilot, but sometimes it’s necessary to refresh ourselves on the rules. I’m not saying every author needs to be an academic grammar guru, but when it comes to making our sentences clear and concise, identifying problems in our prose, or trying to deliberately bend…