Show, don’t Tell. It’s one of the first things I heard when I became part of a critique group. I didn’t really get it at first.
Over time it became clearer, and I began to see the difference. My writing improved.
Don’t tell me what happened. Show me. It’s a huge difference, and an important one. Put me right smack in the middle of the action and let me experience it.
Last week I critiqued twelve different middle grade manuscripts for WIFYR. It was educational. It’s easier to be objective about someone else’s work. As I noted things that could be improved, I began to wonder if I was making similar mistakes.
This morning I read the first critique of my own middle grade work called Way to Go Grace. No surprise. I was doing the same things that I had noticed in other author’s work. The notes on my paper closely resembled the notes I had made on their papers.
Show, don’t Tell. That was it. Well there was more, but that was the most repeated comment in my first ten pages. Wow. I guess I still don’t get it. I’ve got my work cut out for me.
Note to Self: Show, don’t tell.