‘”Show, don’t tell” should not be applied to all incidents in a story. According to James Scott Bell, “Sometimes a writer tells as a shortcut, to move quickly to the meaty part of the story or scene. Showing is essentially about making scenes vivid. If you try to do it constantly, the parts that are supposed to stand out won’t, and your readers will get exhausted.”[5] Showing requires more words; telling may cover a greater span of time more concisely.[6] A novel that contains only showing would be incredibly long; therefore, a narrative can contain some legitimate telling.’ (Taken directly from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Show,_don%27t_tell).

I think sometimes as writers, we get hung up on the show, don’t tell philosophy. While you absolutely need to show certain aspects of your story to deepen the reader’s experience, sometimes telling serves a purpose too. I think the above summarizes this perfectly. Knowing when to use each is a major part of perfecting your own craft.

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