Friday, September 9, 2011

Show, don't tell

If it's a sermon your reader wants, there are churches to oblige.

What does it look like, sound like, feel like, taste like, smell like? When you describe a person or event, your reader is there with you. When you tell,the reader relaxes to the point of mental slumber.

Not sure of the difference?

Telling: John was sad after Susan broke up with him.

Reader: Yawn!

Showing: John shut his cell phone and leaned against the wall. He heaved a sigh and dropped his head into his hands.

Hear the reader's mind working:

"What's with John? Oh, I get it, he feels Susan let him down."

In nonfiction, details show, generalities or opinions tell.

Telling: Children are out of shape these days.

Reader: "I don't think that's true. My neighbor's kid plays Little League."

Showing: Forty percent of 5 to 8-year olds are obese.

The reader's mind kicks in:

"Wow! Children are out of shape these days!"

 Click the picture, it leads to were I got this information