So in writing one of the biggest tips that you start hearing starts in around third grade and it’s “SHOW DON’T TELL.”
And it’s sound writing advice, but it’s pretty sound life advice, too.
How many of us have heard the words, “I love you,” but never seen the actions that give proof to the words. You can tell someone you love them incessantly for hours, but if you don’t show them it too, it’s pretty likely that the words aren’t going to rock that person’s world.
Telling is like this:
Shaun was a hotty.
Showing is like this:
Carrying four grocery bags and a kitten, biceps bulging, Shaun walked through the parking lot, approaching a couple of older men. The smaller man gawped at Shaun, staring at his chest, the kitten, the bags, the biceps.
“Wow,” the man said, pivoting as Shaun strode by. “Just wow.”
The man licked his lips. His partner hit him in the back of the head lightly and said, “I am right here.”
What Does This Mean?
Both examples illustrate that Shaun is a hotty, but one states it as fact (telling) and one elucidates with examples (description, reaction, action).
Here’s One More Quick Example
The lawyer liked to use big words to impress people.
Carpenter stuck his thumbs into the waist of his pants, lowered his voice and said, “Pontification is one of the more mirthful and blithe aspects of the juridical system.”
IN REAL LIFE IT MATTERS TOO.
In life, you want to show too, not just tell all the time.
You can say, “I love you.”
You can also grab someone’s hand and say, “I love you.”
You can also scoff and turn away and step on an ant and say, “I love you.”
WRITING TIP OF THE POD
The actions matter. Showing matters.
DOG TIP FOR LIFE
Showing and telling simultaneously in life (not writing) works to get treats.
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.
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