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Show Don’t Tell-Now I Get It!


Show Don’t Tell!

The first piece of advice many a newbie writer receives.

But what does it mean?

Am I not telling a story?

Is not that. It is more of describing (i.e. showing)  the action instead of telling the reader X happened to Y. Of course you always run the risk in drowning in purple prose or descriptions so detailed that they slow the action to a crawl. Also, most people prefer to say things in as straight forward manner as possible, so that means that characters (the peeps in your story) should not go into incredibly detailed descriptions (unless that is the character’s hat).

Not to mention that sometimes the best thing to do in or out of the dialogue quotes is to say X happened to Y.


So is it a bad thing, this telling, or isn’t it?

And how do I avoid it?

And what exactly is it?

I don’t have the exact answer to any of those questions (I rarely do), but I did find the best explanation anyone has given on the subject.


If that doesn’t clear it up for you, nothing will!


One comment on “Show Don’t Tell-Now I Get It!

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gary James, Rafael R Piñero. Rafael R Piñero said: Show Don't Tell-Now I Get It!: http://wp.me/p9UdM-nM […]


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