I’ve learned a lot about writing during the past twenty years, and a lot of it can be applied to life. That’s what WRITERLY WISDOM is all about.

So, this is actually THE FIRST RULE of writing. There are many things to learn about writing but if you don’t master this one…well, let’s just say the book won’t be as good as it could be.

As a writer, SHOW DON’T TELL means that you don’t tell about the event but you use your words to paint a picture so that the reader is transported into your story.

For example, this is telling: Her wedding was just the way she’d always dreamed it would be.

This is showing:  Marcy gave her niece the signal, a tap on the shoulder. The four-year-old’s little pink dress swished as she made her way down the aisle throwing rose petals as she went. When she saw her mother, she threw her a kiss. 

Marcy straightened out the pearl-laden bodice on her gown, then smiled up at her father. “Are you ready?”

He patted her cheek. “Me? Are you ready? Is this what you want?”

“What do you think? It’s the only think I’ve wanted since I met him when I was twelve.”

He hugged her. “Then lets get this show on the road.”

They stepped forward in unison.


So that’s what SHOW DON’T TELL means when you’re writing. But in life, it takes on a different meaning.

In life we do a lot of talking, especially to our children. We’re always telling them what they should do, what they shouldn’t do, the right thing versus the wrong. And there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, we should tell them that but more than telling them, we should SHOW them.

In other words, actions speak louder than words!

Don’t tell your kids to be kind, show them.

Don’t tell your kids to be honest, show them.

Don’t tell your kids to live a a life of excellence, show them.

So get out there and SHOW DON’T TELL.

Was there a time when words weren’t as important as actions? Tell us about it!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s