Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Show vs.Tell

I'm sure some of you writers attend writing critique groups, or maybe you belong to an online critique group, perhaps some of you have sent work to an editor. At some point on your path to becoming a published author you've probably had someone use the phrase "show, don't tell".

Do you really know what that means?

The best way to explain this is to show you. :-)

Carol was walking on the beach near the ocean.

Sandals hooked to a finger, Carol inhaled the salty air. She strolled, the warm crystalline sand sinking beneath her feet, and scrunching between her toes. When she turned in the direction of a seagull's squawk, water-laden air wafted against her face, and lifted her hair from the back of her neck.

See the difference? The "telling" was flat without emotion. In the showing I never told you Carol was walking on the beach, but instead I drew you a picture with the words and from them you could gather she walked on the beach near the ocean.

Showing pulls your reader into the story, let's them see, feel, experience what your characters are going through.

Why don't you try this? Use the same example or show me. . .Cold, Anger, Scared


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