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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Writer's Challenge (NOT the FaithWriters Challenge) (06/10/10)

TITLE: Show and Tell
By Barbara Mahler
06/14/10


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“Why do you want to go back out there, Dre?”

“I don’t wanna be scared anymore, Mistah Han. Help me not to be scared anymore,” Dre Parker pleads to his Kung Fu mentor in the remade movie The Karate Kid.

Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) didn’t merely speak these words - the yearning expression on his face and the pleading in his eyes convinced me that he didn’t want to succumb to the bullies who repeatedly threatened him. Evident too was Mr. Han’s (Jackie Chan) fatherly care and concern as he tried to convince Dre that he had accomplished what he had come to the tournament to do – that there was no need for him to endure any more physical pain.

Then there’s the scene when Dre’s fierce opponent, Chen (Wang Zhenwei) does a complete about face from his role as chief sadist. He retrieves the coveted trophy from the tournament emcee and places it in Dre’s hands. Chen’s team – students of the fearsome martial-arts teacher Master Li (Yu Rongguang) bow to Dre despite their defeat. The look on Master Li’s face as these events transpire is one of confusion. Perhaps Mr. Han, Dre and his own team are teaching him at that moment.

I believe the scenes in The Karate Kid reflect the challenge of the writer – to show the message while keeping the telling to a minimum.

Obviously writers don’t have film scenes as a tool; yet, are challenged to depict facial expressions as well as critical details – that their readers might see, taste and feel the details of their story.


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This article has been read 321 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rachel Burkum06/18/10
To show a scene, evoke emotion and bring the reader into the written work is indeed one of the greatest challenges.

I must admit I've wanted to see the new Karate Kid movie, so this was a small spoiler. ;-) But you made a good point.

Thanks for sharing!
Dee Yoder 06/20/10
One of the most difficult challenges for the writer is to show not tell. Good work pointing this out.
Mildred Sheldon06/21/10
Good job in showing expressions through your writing. Thanks for sharing how each writer is challenged when they write a story.