Show don't tell

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Show, Don’t Tell : 

Show, Don’t Tell Making the reader “see”

Illustrate : 

Illustrate Turn the abstract into the concrete by using anecdotes (short stories), examples, or description.

Slide 3: 

Showing means to “give evidence”; if you say your teacher is unfair, for example, I don’t know exactly what you mean. But if you give me a specific example—“my teacher gives all the boys in the class A’s and all the girls F’s even when they have the same answers”—then I do know just what you mean by “unfair.”

Slide 4: 

If you say “My sister is attractive,” would I be able to picture her? No, but if you describe her button nose, her consilk-soft blonde hair, her twinkling green eyes, and her tinkling laugh, I can begin to both see AND hear her.

Slide 5: 

Think of showing as anything that can be tape-recorded or filmed--in other words, proven by the senses.

Be specific : 

Be specific Avoid generalized language. My mother is nice. My mother is kind. My mother taught me many things. My mother supports me.

Telling: The woman was sick. She didn’t look lively at all. She showed symptoms of illness. She clearly was not herself. : 

Telling: The woman was sick. She didn’t look lively at all. She showed symptoms of illness. She clearly was not herself. Showing: The woman curled up on the bed, unmoving. A sticky film covered her half-closed eyes. Her once shiny brown hair appeared tangled and matted. She breathed with a harsh, rattling sound.

Slide 8: 

Telling The soldier was impressive.

Slide 9: 

Showing: He was a stocky, barrel-chested man in his thirties with thick, muscular forearms, a jagged scar running along his forehead, a Purple Heart and Vietnam Service Ribbon emblazoned on his chest.

Slide 10: 

Telling I was angry.

Slide 11: 

Showing: I clenched my fists and glared at my mother, pressure welling up inside me like a volcano. How dare she tell me how to dress, as though I were a child!

Slide 12: 

Telling Bill caught the ball.

Slide 13: 

Showing: Bill raced to the backfield, turned, leaped; the ball smacked loudly into his glove.

Slide 14: 

Instead of using abstract words like “interesting,” “angry,” “fun,” or “good,” to tell, use concrete and specific words to show.

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