Implied Actions

What do you see? 

She shook his hand. 

When you just say she shook his hand, you see that in your mind. You have a preconceived notion of what that entails. 

You may want to add things,  like he turned his hand to the side, fingers splayed as though dropping the proverbial mic. The other man turned his in the opposite direction,  gripped firmly and squeezed. 

That could be a secret handshake of some sort. 

While not perfect examples of this, I am trying to show that you can build a base off of what people already know in their minds and then add to it to dress it up for whatever you're trying to show. 

Everyone has a movie screen in their head, they see everything you tell them to see from your words. The trick is to see what they're seeing and write to get that vision as crisp as possible. 

Just remember, there is always an implied action, something you don't have to explain because it's obvious it has to happen. 

He lifted his hand and scratched his head. 

Obviously you don't have to say lifted his hand, because most likely it was already at the side of the body and has to lift to get to their head. 

This detail can be useful in the next scene if he needs to swung down to hit someone  or reach up in a manhole. 

It is assumed when you shake a hand, your hand comes out and grabs another hand, shakes, and returns to the side of the body--unless there is something else you want to convey in that persons character, like the secret hand shake I hinted at. 

This makes the writer have to be in the world, to remember where things are, body parts, people, so you are able to move things by as little words as possible and not make the characters seem like chess pieces. 

How do you write? Do you explain every little detail, or do you keep it lean and clean and use implied actions. Have you ever used this, or even heard of it? 

Let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter @Wcmarchese 

Hope to see you there. 



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