Show. Not Tell.

Dread seeps into my bones when I hear those words.  Like Big Foot, showing not telling is elusive and almost impossible to capture.

How do you balance the show VS tell?

First, you need to know what they are.  Telling is a passive almost abstract way of saying something.  It doesn’t involve the reader.  For example, “Get out of my way,” she said angrily. This tells the reader she’s angry, but it’s boring and slows the pace of the story.  Using adverbs too much will indicate that you are telling, not showing.

Showing is active and helps create a mental picture for your reader.  Let’s use the example from above to demonstrate showing:  Angie shoved Paul aside as she stormed towards the open door, “Get out of my way.”

Did you notice the details in the showing example?  It helps evoke emotion and helps draw your reader in.  You can tell that Angie is angry.  I didn’t even have to use the word “said.”

So, if someone tells you to “show, don’t tell” don’t panic,  take a deep breath and paint a mental picture with your words.

I hope everyone is ready for our Monday study!  Till then, have a great weekend!

J

 

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