Show Not Tell

show-dont-tell

Today’s Tip: Show Not Tell

Details are essential to a good story. It builds the setting, moves the plot forward, and creates tension that makes readers sit at the edge of their seats. If you guys like show and tell, I’m sorry to say that this is show NOT tell.

Who: Showing not Telling

What: details that help move your story along

When: describing something

Where: throughout the novel

Why: to move your story along and make it less dull

How: Avoid simple sentences. “The dog was excited.” Why was it excited? What is its reactions? What are your reactions? Answer these questions and soon enough you’ll have an entire paragraph instead of one sentence. Plus, your paragraph probably seems a lot more enthusiastic and real than the simple sentence. Think of the different details you can add. Sometimes, you might need to break off from describing one thing by describing another. Add a “the wind whistled through the trees” somewhere in there. But be careful not to write too much detail or your reader will start getting bored of all the sentence too.

Activity: Rewrite these “telling” sentences into “showing” paragraphs.

  1. I loved her.
  2. I felt nauseated.
  3. It was painful.
  4. It was dark.
  5. I was scared.
  6. I felt nervous.
  7. My friend was mad.

 

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