Showing Vs. Telling

I have spent nearly 30 years working in male dominated environments. One thing I’ve learned is to keep things brief. ‘Just the facts, Ma’am.’ It’s true, most men don’t really care that you bought a lovely lavender blouse and found the perfect shoes to go along. They could care less you spent eight hours planting your garden full of peppers, tomatoes, green beans, beets, onions and radishes. They just want to know that you planted your garden…and when will it produce food. Maybe they want to know that last part. Probably they don’t, they just want to know what’s for dinner.

So, I’ve been writing a little fiction and have received some valuable advice from authors, teachers and friends who tell me I need to put more emphasis on showing rather than telling. This baffles the practical me. All these years of learning to glean the fact from the fluff so all that’s left is the juicy truth—and now I’m being told to embellish a little bit more.

Years of writing business letters and reports may have ruined me. To be honest, I get a little annoyed by all the squishy showing words and tend to skip over them. I find them to be space filling words which limit my own imagination. But I will practice some more and try harder to add imaging to my stories since many people prefer I show them–‘my feet wet from the morning air which sparkled on the grass and turned the field into a kaleidoscope of color’–rather than letting their minds picture it for themselves by simply saying, ‘the sun dawned on the damp grass.’  ©kgf061716