Show, Don’t Tell

One benefit to organizing a writing club is that many people ask me to critique and give feedback on their pieces. Giving feedback is an underrated way to improve as a writer. When I give feedback, I read carefully, I analyze my reaction to each line, each paragraph. Did I find it interesting? Do I want to read more? Or is my attention beginning to wane? Developing that eye for feedback for other people’s pieces helps me tremendously in my own work.

I notice that 90% of my feedback revolves around the same advice: show, don’t tell. Instead of stating that Art class was your favorite, vividly describe why it’s your favorite. Rather than saying you felt sad, paint a detailed picture of your emotions and surroundings. Take me on a journey. That’s what storytelling is all about.

Show, don’t tell” is one of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned from writing. It applies not only to writing but also when I’m persuading a group of people on my vision at work, it’s useful in everyday conversation, and it applies to all art forms regardless of the medium.

April 29, 2024

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