Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Show, Don't Tell

Try this out for your writing, see what it does!
-Owner's Don't Knock

  • If it's a sermon your reader wants, there are churches to oblige. What does it look like, sound like, feel like, taste like, smell like? When you describe a person or event, your reader is there with you. When you tell, the reader relaxes to the point of mental slumber. Not sure of the difference?Telling: John was sad after Susan broke up with him.Reader: Yawn! Showing: John shut his cell phone and leaned against the wall. He heaved a sigh and dropped his head into his hands.Hear the reader's mind working: "What's with John? Oh, I get it, he feels Susan let him down."In nonfiction, details show, generalities or opinions tell.Telling: Children are out of shape these days.Reader: "I don't think that's true. My neighbor's kid plays Little League."Showing: Forty percent of 5 to 8-year olds are obese.The reader's mind kicks in:"Wow! Children are out of shape these days!"

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