Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Note to Self: Show, don't Tell.

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.

I was.

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.

Linda Garner


N. R. Williams said...

Hi Carolyn
I think we all have certain handicaps that we continually do in our writing even though we know better. The first time through, they say, is to get it down, the second time we start to fix. Show Don't Tell was hard for me too.
Thanks for coming by.

Christy Monson said...

I catch myself doing this all the time!