Show don't tell

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Show don't tell

Need help with show don't tell?

Show don't tell is as important as breathing when writing

For me it is as important to writing as breathing is to living.

When we use 'telling' to narrate a story we report a series of events as if we are out in the field conveying information. We are telling our readers what happened in a dispassionate way, reporting events without engaging the senses. The opposite is true if we 'show' an event, scene or action. We draw the reader into our world and we share it with them so that they experience it through their senses.

That is my definition of ‘show don’t tell’ . What is yours?


I have something to add. After reading many books on writing and hearing from other authors, editors, publishers, etc, I found that another three words worked for me, helping me realise what I should be doing when writing: Express don't explain. Similar sort of concept. Maybe it will work for you too.



Telling the reader is often a

Telling the reader is often a sign of the author's laziness. I often have to work in order not to. Often times I act out the scenes to get the right verb. If my mom had a dollar for every time I've asked her 'What's the word for this' and I do something ridiculous, she would have at least enough to buy a Chanel purse!

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