Are You Showing or Telling?

Showing and telling in your writing

I’ve written about showing and telling before, but it’s such an important topic. I get clients all the time who don’t realize that a children’s story must be shown, not told. I think more information is always helpful.

Writing is an ongoing adventure…always something to learn and tweak and hone.

I noticed that when I write, and I think this goes for most of us, my thoughts precede my reading ability – so I don’t catch my own errors. This happens because I know what I wrote and what I intend to convey. This makes it almost impossible for a writer to edit her (or his) own work. You can get close, but as the saying goes, Almost Doesn’t Cut It.

What do I mean? Well, let’s look at a simple sentence:

In a daze, Pete stumbled to his feet.

While this isn’t the exact sentence in my story, it is similar. I revised my article and reread it numerous times and didn’t notice that “in a daze” is telling, not showing. And, what’s the KEY to writing in today’s fast paced, no time to waste world? FOCUS AND TIGHT WRITING.

In fact, the fast paced reader of today is getting even more impatient and ready to move on in the blink of an eye. So, we need to take this into account in our writing and marketing.

Okay, back to the focus of the article…

So, how do we change the above sentence into a showing only sentence?

Dazed, Pete stumbled to his feet.

Really simple when you are able to actually read what is written rather than already know what you intended.

What are the important tips to take away?

1. Make sure you are part of a critique group. Join one with experienced and new writers in it.

2. Join the writing groups focused on your genre.

3. Do not submit your work to a publisher or agent before you’ve had it professionally edited.


Writing Children’s Books – Genre Differences
Writing a Fiction Story – Walking Through Walls Backstory
Learning to Write for Children – It’s More Than Just ABC

Children's ghostwriter

Let me take a look at it. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter and rewriter. I can turn your story into a publishable story that you’ll be proud of.

Shoot me an email at: (please put Children’s Writing Help in the Subject line)