Monday, January 18, 2010

Show vs. Tell

Show vs. tell

This may be the death of me.

I have such a hard time with this. Ok, let me a sentence up here and tell me how it could be show vs. tell:

I made my escape through the garage door and stumbled to the orchard, cursing these beautiful sandals pinching my feet.


  1. Here's only one of many ways this could be rewritten:

    I slipped through the garage door and hobbled to the orchard on my must-have gladiator sandals. I cursed my shoe fetish--cute over comfort every time.

    * Slipped replaces the weak "made".
    * I would hobble, not stumble if my shoes were too tight.
    * If she is tripping, then stumble would work, but there maybe should be some indication of on what--roots, rocks, etc.

    Of course, for every sentence there are a gazillion ways to rewrite...

  2. Very nice Cat! I like that. It makes for a much more powerful sentence. And I love hobble, I have so been there! Sometimes I just have a hard time, I know what I want it to say, but can't figure out the showing way of getting there! Oh, and the "weak words"...well, that's a whole other discussion :)

  3. The garage door finally opened and I limped out toward the orchard. I slipped and almost fell as I stole a look over my shoulder, which slowed me down even more. "Curse these stupid sandals!"

    Okay, it's not great, but you didn't say it needed to be great!

  4. Very nice. It's much stronger this way. And I don't know if I've ever read perfect the perfect sentence in my history of voracious reading. Until then, I'll settle for good and great in my writing!