Show Not Tell

If you’ve ever taken a writing class, I can almost guarantee you’re familiar with this concept of show not tell. Let me explain with an example:

Telling: “Jane was very angry.”

Showing: “Jane screamed loudly as her hands turned to fists.”

Essentially, telling does the job, but does not really pull the reader into the story. Showing brings your writing to life, and uses concrete language that appeals to the senses.

And why am I talking about this? Well.. as I do with much of the stuff I learn in my classes, I’ve found a way to apply this idea to my life.

If you take the concept outside just ‘writing’ and into real life, it might help open your eyes to the way you portray yourself to others. It might also change the way you observe others.

When you describe your friends, you use the words, “funny”, “kind”, “creative”. Well, think about how you know this. It’s not because they told you they were funny when you met them, it’s because you’ve observed their behaviour. You laugh at their jokes, others laugh at their jokes. This is ‘showing’ and not ‘telling’ in real life.

Lately I’ve noticed people who tell and not show.. and how ineffective it is. Would a humble person tell you that they’re humble?

Something to think about.

– Dose of Delight





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