This is one of the greatest tenets any writer has drilled into them at an early age.
Show, don’t tell.
Show us the action. Do not describe the tree, show us the verdant ferocity with which it lived -through calm, sunny days as well as through the darkest storms with sopping rainfall, making its roots cling even deeper into the earth beneath it. Make the tree’s yellow and spotted leaves tickle your reader’s cheeks even though they sit wrapped in a soft blanket in the safety of their living room devouring loquacious artistry. Convince them to scour the landscape to find this tree as it sheds its leaves for the last time, weeping that it will not survive to burst forth into a new spring.
Breathe life into your scenes. Do not describe them. Instead, cradle each word, hold it to your mouth, and make it rise and fall with your breath. Quicken the pace of your reader’s pulse as their knees buckle and they fall to the ground when your story reaches it denouement. As your reader leaves your words behind, you want them dizzy with passion, filled with a yearning for more of your spirit.
Show, don’t tell.
One of the most difficult tenets to put into practice yet one which is absolutely necessary to transform any piece of writing from mundane to spectacular. It is far easier to tell someone to “Show, don’t tell,” than it is to put it into practice.
When we show instead of tell, we bring our readers into our world. We create a connection with them which allows them to utter the words, “Me too” aloud to no one in particular. The best writing may not be the most critically acclaimed or the most perfectly executed but that which fosters a strong connection because the author has been where the reader now finds themselves.
Why is this important? [Read more...]