June 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is a great overview of showing vs. telling.


You will have most probably have heard the phrase, ‘show, don’t tell’, and whilst this piece of advice is vital for most part of the story, telling in some cases, is also necessary.

You will find many quotes from writers that help exercise ‘show, don’t tell’, my favourite being by Anton Chekhov:

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass

Why is showing a story important?

The biggest reason is that showing a story helps the reader empathise with the character. It is a lot less effective to tell the reader ‘be scared’, than to show them an emerging figure, than then their footsteps racing across the midnight streets, then their own ears failing on them as they try to lower their panting and hear for any sounds, and then that single tap on the shoulder and a heavy breath burning on…

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