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Show don't tell

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Laurice Sabala

on 25 February 2016

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Transcript of Show don't tell

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
- Anton Chekhov

Show Don't Tell
Show, don’t Tell in writing!

•Use vivid adjectives and action verbs to show all 5 senses.

-What does the scene look like? Feel? smell? Taste? sound?
- Showing is using behavior (action, speech, thoughts) to illustrate or dramatize what the character is feeling/doing.

- The writer does more than just tell the reader something about a character; he unveils the character through what that character says and does.
By turning the blinds ever so slightly, Mrs. Parker could just peek through the window and see the Ford Explorer parked in the driveway. She squinted to get a better view of the tall, muscular man getting out of the vehicle and walking up to Mrs. Jones' front door. He rang the doorbell. When Mrs. Jones opened the door and welcomed the stranger into her home with a hug, Mrs. Parker gasped and ran to her phone.
"Charlotte, you are not going to believe what I just saw!" Mrs. Parker peeked out the window again to see if the man was still inside.
Mrs. Parker was nosy. She gossiped about her neighbors.
Jesse felt like an overcooked chicken, his flesh was near ready to fall off his bones. He was sweaty, stinky, and thirsty from his day in the sun.
Jesse was very hot.

Harry was lost in the woods and he was scared.
Mrs Morris was a mean old lady.
The student wasn't paying attention in class.
Read the House On Mango Street and look for examples of when the author shows instead of telling.
Now Let's look at a text.
Go back to your narrative essay and identify three times
you told something. UNDERLINE THEM.

Then rewrite them in the form of showing.
Now Lets look for ways we can show instead of telling in our own writing.
He is two feet tall with brown hair and blue eyes.
I am from Ohio. I don't like commercials. I have no patience.
My grandma makes trips miserable. I was born in Dayton. My friends are great. I just love the white cheese sauce. I am allergic to shrimp. My cat is weird. I don't like tests. I love to read. I have a cat. My brothers and I play a lot. I have two brothers. I think mice are scary. Reading is my favorite thing to do.
I release all of my energy. I like baseball. I was born in my least favorite city. Everything we did would make us laugh. I like to write. My dad was mad. I often got us all in trouble. It was sunset. I like to earn money. I didn't do anything. I hit my brother. I loved my grandpa. I miss my grandma. My headphones broke. I can't wait for snow. The game was over. I was furious. I hate brown walls. she was strong.
These are BAD examples of showing:
Now Practice with some examples! Write a short scene!

(These are real photos from Mrs. Sabala's life! Sometimes my life is exciting.)
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