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18 August 2005 @ 01:51 pm
Discussion: Show, Not Tell  
Today's discussion features my own personal Achilles Heel. I will always struggle with the "Show, Not Tell" gremlin, partly because I have never quite understood the concept.

What I've read counsels toward being more descriptive, to be concrete rather than abstract. Rather than say the dog is brown, the advice says to say the dog is a shabby, mangy brown, the color of mud dried under a blazing summer sun.

My problem? I detest writing that goes into *that* much detail! It's one of the reasons I've never read Tolkein's work.

So, folks, rather than a long-winded entry from me today for the discussion topic, I'm turning it over for discussion. What's the best advice for writers who dread hearing "Show, Not Tell" in an editor's rejection letter?
 
 
 
Quarlaquarla on August 18th, 2005 10:52 pm (UTC)
While this isn't any advice to writers who don't like to "Show, Not Tell" but more of just a comment about myself as a writer. I actually have the problem that I do /both/. I show and I tell. I think I do this because I don't feel confidant in my 'showing' skills so I then go and tell the reader as well. I'm not sure how to get rid of this problem either and it is quite frustrating.

I don't normally go into detail like your above example unless it's absolutely needed though. But I do love details, just not /every/ single little one.

- Quarla