Showing Not Telling in Sleepless in Seattle
I’m married and have four daughters. I am forced to watch chick flicks. But, I have to be honest. Some I don’t mind. Sleepless in Seattle is one of those. I was rewatching it over the break and was struck by some particularly good writing. There is one scene about mid-movie where Tom Hanks’s character is tucking his son into bed. They are talking about the boy’s mom, who has passed away. He says to his dad:
I’m starting to forget her.
And after a thoughtful pause, the dad says,
She could peel an apple…in one long, curly strip. The whole apple.
That’s it. They say “I love you” and the boy goes to sleep.
It’s a beautiful, tender scene and a powerful example of concise writing.
I’d love to explain why this example of concrete detail is so moving. But I would just ruin it. So, I won’t. Enjoy.
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