Tuesday, December 13, 2016
As a writer I prefer to show rather than to tell. It's much more compelling storytelling if the reader can run her hands along the rough walls of the oubliette, watch the narrow shaft of light as it scores its way across the stony floor, and feel the encroaching darkness poisoning her own soul, than it is to say "So-and-so was depressed."
But sometimes telling is what is needed. The matter is so urgent, so important, so dreadful or so exciting (or both) that it needs to be shared immediately, and there is no time to feel the weight or measure the strength of each word. The drowning need to be rescued, the birth must be announced, the proclamation of freedom must be shouted from the rooftops.
Show if time allows, but never be afraid to tell when you must. Tell it loud and clear, and leave no room for doubt.
Copyright © 2016 by David Learn. Used with permission.