Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Show Don't Tell

My daughter's 7th grade classroom has an amazing teacher who is enthusiastic about writing and the writing process. After hearing how they are learning about "Showing, not telling," I recently offered to do a classroom visit to reinforce the concept they are learning. 

As an author and editor I was thrilled to hear how the teacher is sharing with them about the real writing process and what matters to editors. When we show instead of tell in our writing, we make the writing jump off the page.
I asked the children for examples of showing for the sentence "He liked this safe place." My favorite response? "His eyes lit up when he walked in". Amazing - and from a 7th grader. I suspect us writers are going to have some strong competition in a few years. 

Some more examples of showing versus telling:

  • Telling:    It was a nice day.  
  • Showing: The sun gleamed through the bright blue sky. The warm breeze tickled my cheek 

  • Telling:  He was sad.
  • Showing: A frown crept across his face as a tear escaped from his eye.

  • Telling: My room is a mess.
  • Showing: Clothes lay strewn all over the room. Checkers decorated the remaining visible floor. 

Join in the conversation. What are your Showing Versus Telling sentences? 

Children's Author