Do or Do Not. There is No Try: Clarifying What Your Characters Do – By Janice Hardy…

on Fiction University:

The word “try” can send all the wrong signals to your reader.

Characters “try to” do a lot of things in stories. They try to get up, they try to hide, they try to hold back tears. But what the writer really means, is the character got up, they hid behind the couch and were found anyway, or they blinked back tears welling in their eyes.

The “try” isn’t describing the action, it’s describing the motive, which is another form of telling, not showing. The trying weakens the writing, and isn’t putting enough of what’s actually happening on the page for readers to understand the action.

Not that “trying to” act is a bad thing. If the motive is more important than the action, “trying” works just fine and conveys what the author wants readers to know. But more often than not, “trying” is unclear, and readers are left wondering if the character accomplished what they tried to do or not.

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