SHOW DON’T TELL
To give your writing life and capture your reader you need to show not tell your story. So, what does this mean?
Basically it means that you want the reader to experience what is happening to your character through detail. You want your reader to not only see the action but feel, taste, smell and hear everything that is going on. This will bring your reader into the scene. For example, if you tell the reader what is going on it will be like this.
Robert parked his car, and went for a walk on the beach.
As a reader, how does this make you feel? At a distance? You are being told that Robert has parked his car and gone for a walk on the beach.
But what if you show the reader what is going on as demonstrated in the following paragraph.
Robert parked the car, and pulling his collar up against the cold sou’westerly wind, he walked down onto the beach. Deserted, but for a bunch of seagulls huddled together on the sand, their attempts at flight marred by the howling gale, he became mesmerised by the sea, its choppy, uneven swell crashing onto shore before being dragged back.
Does this make you feel a little closer to the character and the scene? As if you are experiencing the walk on the beach with him. The reader can imagine what the weather is like. He can picture the seagulls huddled together against the wind. And he can see Robert staring at the waves crashing into shore. This gives the reader so much more information about the scene and makes the reader feel a part of the scene.