Category Archives: Q&A

Q & A – Show vs Tell


Show Vs Tell

Important Questions answered by a Community of Writers

Marshal Prescott has an important question to ask us.  Let’s help him out by giving him an answer that may help him. If you know of resources that he can go to, please provide them.

Please write a paragraph of the above scene and give us an example of show vs tell, to hone in your answer.

Q:  I have noticed there has been a lot of telling in the readings lately. I know that we are supposed to show not tell. But is there any rules regarding telling. In other words, what makes telling more acceptable?  Is it more acceptable if the telling flows smoothly and contains more character attributes?

A: by Andres Fragoso, Jr.  –  I find that when you write a novel or a long piece of literature I tend to try to show more, to make the story more detailed with scent, sight, feel, and sometime taste (I don’t know what that means, do we take the book or kindle and lick it?). However when I’m writing a short story or flash fiction, I tend to tell more often and show when its a strong scene.

Tell – John was too tired to walk all the way home. He found a park bench, sat down and leaned his head back. He fell asleep exhausted.

Show – John could barely walk, his ears rang  to the absent grunge beat from hours ago, his sharp mind now confused. Thinking back to the slim guy trying to seduce him. He was uncomfortable and confused, he knew he had to leave and go home safe. With each inhale of cool bay breeze he thanked the universe that allowed him to clear his lungs from the heavy hookah and Janga someone sneaked in at the lounge. The realization that he ate brownies gave him a chill, realizing that he could have been raped. The determination of getting home safely was starting to fade as his eyes could barely stay open. With slow strides forward and his surroundings starting to light up he bumped on to a bench. His heart skipped a beat, he felt a light from the heavens shine on the bench for him to sit and rest. The light flickered and dissapeared, he looked up and saw that the light post turned off in series with the others. The cold, wet metal passed through his jeans and gave him a strange sensation. Not caring he backed onto the bench getting his back wet. With a shiver he leaned his head back, took a deep, cleansing breath scented with jasmine and roses. Zzzzzzzz.

Looking forward to others’ answer to this question.