Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Show, don’t tell – what?

What the hell is this guy talking about?

This writing instruction should be banished as thoroughly as the opening line “It was a dark and stormy night...” It has caused more anxiety and more worry for writers than any other “classic” bit of advice.

First of all, have you read two writing experts who agree on exactly what this means? Do you have any idea what this means? If you opened a page at random from any novel, could you tell (no pun intended) if the writer was “showing” or “telling”?

Secondly -- and most important, so pay attention -- all writing is telling. When you use words, you can do nothing else but tell. Only pictures show. Why is it called “storytelling” and not “storyshowing”?

In other words, this is one more thing you don’t have to worry about anymore.

NaBloPoMo November 2013

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