Writing Tip #9: Show, Don’t Tell
“Show, don’t tell. This concept is talked about so often by writing teachers that it starts to sound cliché, but trust me, there is no concept more important and more overlooked by young writers. By show, don’t tell, we don’t mean that descriptive details are always necessary. We simply mean that concrete examples and illustrations nearly always make for better writing than abstractions, generalizations, and hypotheticals. Don’t give me an explanation when you can paint me a picture. Don’t tell me Mrs. Crabtree is mean; show her being cruel. Don’t tell me the families of deployed soldiers make great sacrifices; show me a soldier’s family sacrificing. Or, as Anton Chekhov put it, ‘Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.'”
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