Showing Not Telling

Something I’ve heard a lot of writers say is that we should ‘Show and not Tell’ but writers do it all the time and I think its something that despite people saying don’t do it it’s an acceptable practice. I think the trick is knowing when to do it. Something I’ve noticed recently about my writing is that I do it a lot, especially since I’ve been going through Earth, After Liberation. In that there is a lot of  paragraphs that should be their own chapters, if not more of the story. I’ve cut a lot short in that novel and after skimming through it as I was breaking it down I think I can probably add a good ten thousand words to the story.

This has been a bit of a reality check for me if I’m honest. Like I said, I think showing can be acceptable but I’m being lazy when I’m doing it. I need to drop this habit and do it quickly as doing it means I have to go back and elaborate when I’m working on the second draft, and I’m going to try in the future to make sure that my first drafts are as clean as I can get them (that’s quite an ambition as grammar alone is a major issue for me I think).

2 thoughts on “Showing Not Telling

  1. While I generally agree that it’s better to show than to tell in fiction, I think you have an excellent point. The prose can be cluttered up by descriptions (showing), and sometimes it can be powerful to state things directly (tell). It’s probably like with so many other things; If you know what you’re doing and how it works, you can get away with a lot of things.


    • You are right, the trick is knowing how it works, and I’m not quite there yet I don’t think so it’s something I’m trying to be aware off so I can improve on it.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment 🙂


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