Explore

Download App
Dogs Are Smarter Than People via Anchor
23 minMAR 30
Play Episode
Likes
Comments
Share
Naked Lady in the Drain and Why Authors Should Show and Not Tell

Details

So a lot of writers get rejections that say, “Show, don’t tell.” And then they are left wondering, what does that even mean? And then everyone uses the Chekov quote, “Don’t tell me the moon is shining. Show me the glint of light on broken glass.” That’s because writers and editors like to quote other writers and editors because it makes us sound: Pretentious. Cough. I mean intelligent! Like we know what we’re doing. DEFINITIONS TIME Showing is what it sounds like. You are showing what’s happening in the scene or with the character. Telling is also what it sounds like. You are blunt and direct and are just stating things. Sometimes you’re stating and summarizing. HERE IS A QUICK EXAMPLE: Telling: Shaun was cranky. Showing: Gabby the dog barked for hours at the dogs trotting by the house that morning and after a quick pause for a drink from her red water bowl in the kitchen, she’d pranced back to the living room sliding glass door and started again. Shaun tensed. He slammed his fist against his desk and roared, “Will you just shut up already?” So why do you want to show more and tell less? It’s more community oriented. It gives the reader the truth about the character by illustrating it on the page rather than laying it down like an edict. If I tell you, Carrie is a timid person, then you’re like okay. Whatever. But if I show you a scene where Carrie steps outside and starts crying because the grass is long and things could be hiding in it and she starts sweating and shaking because she’s so afraid of the grass? You’re going to probably have a better understanding of how timid a person Carrie actually is. Yeah, showing takes more words, but writers are word magistrates. We are dealers in the sentence and the language. Words are our friends. The other reason is that telling makes things dull. It’s hard to be suspenseful when you just say everything all bluntly. When you tell, you are blunt. When you show? You are laying out little truths that compel the reader to turn the page and read on. You are giving the pieces of a meal, one bite at a time, rather than shoving a four-course dinner down their throat and making them gag. It’s the difference between reading the episode recap for Wanda Vision and actually watching the show. FOR THE REST OF THE NOTES AND LINKS TO OUR SOURCES (People Magazine and The Miami Herald) check out Carrie's website. SHOUT OUT! The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website.Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free. And we have a new podcast,LOVING THE STRANGE,which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. Here’s the link. This week’s podcast is all about alien abductions and Maine as a UFO hotspot --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support