Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » FAQs and Links to Discussions » discussions of show vs tell

   
Author Topic: discussions of show vs tell
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
90

722

974

1704

1777

2400

2938

[ December 17, 2011, 11:12 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

Posts: 8030 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have probably done this before, but I am going to, once again, offer my "take" on this question. And then you all can go follow the links above and read those topics.

I define "tell" as summarizing, and "show" as going into enough detail that the reader experiences the story right along with the characters.

When you tell a friend about something that's happened, you don't give them a minute-by-minute, blow-by-blow description of the incident, unless every little detail is crucial. Instead, you summarize, so they get the idea/message/point.

How much detail and how many words you use in your writing are signals to the reader about how important something is in the story. If you gloss over it (summarize or "tell"), you indicate that it isn't as important as something you describe ("show") in loving detail.

When writers are urged to "show, don't tell," I submit that their readers or critiquers are actually saying, "spend more words on the important parts, or the parts you have led me to believe are important--don't summarize them, give me more details."

"Show, don't tell" could be a way of saying, "I don't think you have written enough about the parts that interest me, that I care about."

So the next step, when someone asks a writer to "show, don't tell" would be to ask for a list of places that need more showing. And then figure out how to provide the missing details.


Posts: 8030 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Architectus
Member
Member # 8809

 - posted      Profile for Architectus   Email Architectus         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I like this take on Show Don't Just Tell.

http://www.youtube.com/user/architectus777#grid/user/96EF2B2B20D68D98


Posts: 161 | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
zerostone
Member
Member # 8605

 - posted      Profile for zerostone           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
OSC says basically the same thing as this in "Characters and Viewpoint" and in his Literary Bootcamp classes: SHOW what you want the readers to experience, everything else, tell.

[This message has been edited by zerostone (edited September 25, 2009).]


Posts: 38 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
posting so this topic will be visible (and hoping the links above go to the correct topics)
Posts: 8030 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Treamayne
Member
Member # 9700

 - posted      Profile for Treamayne           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Links seem good now. Lots of prior discussion on Show Vs Tell.... can't await to dig in.

V/R

AT

Posts: 61 | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2