Friday, July 18, 2008

(45) Show; Don’t Tell

A technique that serves fiction writers, and all writers, well is striving to show and not tell. This technique involves many strategies that activate the senses of the reader and prefer concrete language to the abstract. [REVISE]

Writers can improve the effectiveness of virtually any writing by implementing techniques commonly associated with fiction and poetry. Writers of fiction and poetry primarily are driven to show, and not to tell. While many techniques fulfill that goal, some of the strategies a writer should focus on include:

• Incorporating dialogue instead of telling about conversations.

• Selecting language that appeals to as many of the reader’s senses as possible. The focus of the writing should be on creating images with language.

• Avoid abstract words and prefer concrete words.

For on-line help with showing, and not telling, visit: