Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Show and Tell

The next "wisdom" that gets pulled out and polished regularly is the "show, don't tell," line. (And what often follows is the "learn the rules, then break them.")

Show and tell sessions in school taught us to express ourselves by storytelling with a prop. Why is it that we were advised afterward to limit the verbs and expand the description? Where is the balance?

Granted, as a reader I skip the descriptions unless they drive the action. Of course, every story takes both showing and telling to drive the narrative and fill pages.

Also, after completing a multimedia class today that emphasized the absolute need to show with colors, graphics and photos, along with telling through words, movement and music, it is far past time that we re-frame this staid advice for the digital age. 

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