As a writer, you hear “show, don’t tell” more often than not. It is an easy concept to grasp, but most writers, especially beginners find it hard to understand. The good thing is that once you master this technique, you will be amazed at how easy it will be to include your readers in your writing.
The idea of showing rather than telling is to prevent the writer from explaining the story and actually writing it. It is mostly done in fiction writing. So, how do we show and not tell?
Express emotions as an action
Tell: She was angry.
Show: She slammed her fists on the table, gritting her teeth.
Write a list of what your character touched, tasted, smelled, saw and then write a sentence without using the words touch, taste, smell and see.
Tell: It was cold.
Show: Her teeth clattered in the darkness. She felt her body shiver and pulled the tunic around her, just to find a semblance of warmth.
Choose a character point of view
Choose one character to focus on, and do it from their point of view.
Tell: She moved around the house as she cleaned it
Show: The music blared in Lisa’s ears, as she twirled with the mop in her hands. If you are going to do house chores, you might as well have fun doing it, she thought.
Always be specific
The more specific you are the easier it will be for your readers to follow.
Tell: The red car sped.
Show: The dodge zoomed past the red light.
Even with these ideas, showing rather than telling should not give you the excuse to overwrite. The ultimate goal of this is to give your readers interesting and concise narratives to enjoy.
Do you have any more ideas on how to show rather than tell? Hit us up in the comments section.