Understanding the concept of showing and telling in writing fiction is very important as it’s one of the many elements of fiction. One can be confused by this. So let’s jump into it right away.

Photo Credits: Joe Parks (Creative Commons)

Whenever your character sees something new in the story, he/she must talk about it to let the readers know what one is seeing, the character can’t just tell them, he/she has to show the readers. For example:

There was a room Kat went to, she described it this way-
” I’ve never seen anything as old as the picture frame that hangs half dangling from a nail that’s loose and nearly out. Lots of large library bound dusty books are piled on the wood shelf that seems to have lost its strength to hold anything up. The tiles on the floors are cracked like the cracks in a porcelain dish. Dust seems to have found a friendly place to live in.”

The above paragraph is an example of showing, not exactly a master piece but that explains it.

Telling would be as simple as: “I’m in an old room”

That is the difference between showing and telling. But remember showing always isn’t the ideal choice. At times telling is important too. Only, you decide it.

Categories: Writing

Flawid D'Souza

I'm mostly a student and also a writer and a wonderful person. I help people to be creative and follow their passions. I live just outside of Mangalore, India with my mom, dad, little sister and two dogs. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Goodreads.


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