Showing versus telling is every writers best friend and worst enemy. Do it right and…not many people will notice (which is a great thing). Do it wrong…EVERYONE WILL NOTICE
Here’s some examples of showing versus telling:
- Telling: I want him to feel how much he hurt me.
- Showing: I glared at him, hoping my eyes cut him with every pass over his wretched face.
Not great examples, but you get the point. Notice that nowhere in the showing example does it tell you how she feels. We KNOW how she feels because we’re shown anger, not told about it.
- Telling: I was afraid and hid. I grabbed a gun and waited.
- Showing: I huddled in the corner, scrutinizing every movement that flashed past my window. My hands shook as I gripped the gun tighter, my finger tracing over the trigger.
While showing adds a ton more words (which isn’t bad if you are a few thousand short in a chapter), telling is just…boring.
Don’t be boring.