“Don’t tell; show.” I’ve heard that from just about every source and authority on writing I’ve ever come across. Use language to show the reader what’s going on. This is writing 101. Basic. I’ve given this advice myself, because (despite the musings to come in the next paragraph) I believe it’s the best way to write.
HOWEVER (here come the musings)…
As easy as it might be to say, this rhetoric is not always easy to put into practice. Is it possible that sometimes there’s no better way to say something? That no matter how hard we might try to show, we end up telling instead? There are no absolute rules of writing, after all. What appeals to one person may not appeal to another. Perhaps there’s someone out there who actually likes being told things instead of shown. Bring me such a person, and I will have a very lengthy and impassioned debate with him/her, but I will still respect that differing opinion (okay—maybe).
So when is it okay to tell instead of show? What are some instances you’ve come across that required telling rather than creating a visual? Did you find those passages less enjoyable than others or were you able to maintain the quality throughout? I’d like to hear from you!
On the happenings and news side of things, I’m slightly dismayed to announce that (as you might have noticed already), I’m having to step back from posting. My “quotes of the day” now have to become “quotes of the week.” Not only am I a stay at home mom of two busy youngsters, a writer, and a blogger, but I also have a freelance design business. The good news is my design business has started growing. The bad news? It’s eating my time and something’s gotta give. Sorry WordPress, that’s you. In any case, I’m thinking Mondays will be my posting day (yes, I know this is Wednesday and I’m already off schedule, but give a supermom a break).
In other news, my book reading adventure for September will be A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. I plan on getting started tomorrow if you’d like to join!
Today’s Prompt: Write a short story from the first person perspective of someone who has been blind since birth. The setting: a city park on a lovely day.