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Show don't Tell. But what does it mean?

Alike yourself I've often wondered what it was exactly that people meant by 'Show don't tell' when it refers to writing stories. In the writing world it's a commonly used phrase but what does it mean? The basic answer is: reader immersion. One of the best ways to immerse your reader into your writing is by creating vivid imagery that will draw them further into your world of imagination.

When a writer sits down to tell their story you want to immerse your reader in it as much as possible. Ask yourself this: "Does my writing show what's happening?" Below are a few writing examples to help you visualize what is meant by this question.


Example 1:

Telling -  She was angry.

Note: This is unambiguous, but not at all evocative — she may feel angry, but the reader isn’t likely to. Think about what you can do to create a distinct picture in the reader’s mind about how to evoke the emotion of anger.

Showing - The rage took over. All-overwhelming. She reached ba…