I’ve noticed my current work in progress, Love Poetry, has been bogged down with a lot of “telling.” Looks like I could use a refresher course…
We all could.
Ah, show, don’t tell. One of the most spouted pieces of writing advice, and one of the most confusing.
When I first heard of it, I had no idea what it meant. Surely writing that my character “rose from her chair and walked across the room” was showing? Yes? No? Maybe? No. It’s a no. A hard no. It’s “telling” the reader what the character is doing (and in a very uninspired way).
Showing is using your words to create a picture in the reader’s mind. It’s using words to put them in the moment, to allow them to feel as if they are the characters. That it’s them “pulling their tired bones from the stiff seat and shuffling across the dusty floorboards”. It’s all about forging a connection between the reader and the characters. And it isn’t as confusing as you think.
How To Master Show, Don’t Tell
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