Oct 272015

Show Don’t Tell Method While Writing

Show Don't Tell Method While Writing

If you are telling a story, maybe it is the best way to use “Show Don’t Tell” method.

In this method, you don’t tell the story directly. Instead, you give the visual, auditory and kinesthetic clues to the readers and let them imagine the scenes in their own minds. You describe the sensations which will trigger their emotions and memories. By doing so, each reader creates his/her own story in his/her mind.

He is an old man. He is used to go to the nearby park every day. First he feeds a couple of doves and then reads his daily newspaper.

The above sentences tell about an old man. The given messages are directly sent to the logical mind of the reader.

We can write the same story without telling anything, but paint a colorful, vivid image :

He sits down on his bank in the park taking care of the hurting stiffness in his right knee. It is his bank, because he is visiting it almost everyday. He shares his thoughts, even his secret feelings with it sometimes like an old friend. A couple of dove waits him on the branch of the pine tree leaning down. The doves know his exact arrival time and are always ready to share birdseed coming from his pocket. They are mute. They don’t make any sound. After eating their seeds, they silently fly away leaving a broad smile on his lips and the wrinkles at the sides of his eyes.

After the breakfast ceremony, he pulls out his daily newspaper from his left pocket of his worn up jacket. He squints his eyes, and tries to read the biggest titles first. Then wears his eyeglasses, and starts to read the news on the first page.”

If you tell a story, you only give some information to the reader. But, if you show the details triggering his/her senses, you create a vivid four-dimensional world. Yes, it is four-dimensional, because you also include time in the story.

As an ESL student, “Show, Don’t Tell” method gives you command over the language. Try it! I’m sure, you will love it.

Ahmet Aksoy