There are some aspects of fiction writing which leave the uninitiated baffled. One such is the concept of ” showing” vs “telling”. Many well-known writers have written about the need to by and large ” show” more than ” tell” in your writing. This is crucial to make what you write more interesting to your reader.
How many times have you heard critics of your writing say ” You must ‘show’ more than you ‘tell’ ?” “Show” ? “Tell”? What do they mean? Don’t you just write the best you can? I have no qualms in admitting that as a writer, I too struggle with this from time to time. I have found this aspect one of the biggest challenges in writing fiction.
I was delighted therefore to come across an extremely informative article by Dennis Jerz: ” Show, Don’t (Just) Tell”. Dennis is Associate Professor of English: New Media Journalism at Seton Hill University. This is one of the best articles I have come across on the subject. The concept is explained with specific examples which make for easier understanding. I would strongly recommend this as a “must read” for anyone wanting to write fiction.
As an exercise, after you have read Dennis Jerz’s article, go back to a piece that you have written. See if you have gone wrong, as you well might have. Can you improve it with more “show” than ” tell”?