Authors know this rule well: show, don’t tell. It’s an important rule, possibly the most important. Readers don’t appreciate being told what to think; they like to experience the novel through a series of vividly drawn scenes, scenarios and settings. What is not said, is often more powerful than what is said. ‘He spun across the polished floor, graceful as Nureyev’ means more to me than ‘He danced expertly’.
‘Actions speak louder than words’ holds a similar meaning. I could tell you that I’m a great dancer, but until you saw me dancing, my words wouldn’t mean much. Show don’t tell. I could claim to own a Ferrari, but wouldn’t it be better to turn up at your house driving one – if you like that kind of thing.
A short blog this week
Yours truly and truly yours.
Jonathan K Benton
Please note: I can’t dance like Nureyev, and I don’t own a Ferrari.