Saturday, September 9, 2023

Let Me NOT Tell You A Story... by Vanessa C. Hawkins


 Vanessa Hawkins Author Page


Let me tell you a story... Interested? Well you shouldn't be, because it's much better to show than to tell. What does that mean? I'm still trying to figure it out, but it goes something like this. 

Mr. Banana-Head was tired, so he walked slowly to his bedroom and got into bed. 


Now lets show you a story. 

Mr. Banana-Head yawned as he rubbed at his heavy eyes in an effort to keep them open. Dragging his feet to his bedroom, he pulled up the crisp sheets of his bed before letting his weight fall into the mattress with a plop.   

Do you see the difference? Yes, it's longer, but it demonstrates a clear difference between showing and telling. Don't tell us the Mr. Banana-Head is tired, show that he is. How does one act when one is tired? They may yawn, or droop, or their eyes may get heavy. These descriptors are all indications of feeling tired and do a better job of pulling a reader into a story than simply telling them that someone is sleepy. 

Why am I saying this? Because I have been editing for the last forever and I never realized how much everyone tends to do this. Including me. Telling puts a barrier between the reader and the main character. Telling is the author poking their big fat head in to make sure you aren't immersed. But we want to be immersed! 

Writing is life, but editing is a chore. I hate editing. How do people manage to edit all the time? I'm dead... Also I have found out that I use certain words waaaaay too often. Like regarded. Everyone regards everyone! Stop it. This is my self intervention to stop using the word regarded. Also felt. Felt is telling. Don't say Ethel felt sad, show me she felt sad. 

Ethel is the main character in my upcoming book Twice Hung. She doesn't feel anything. If she's sad she will show you. This I solemnly swear. 

Ethel hung her head and blinked back the well of tears that gathered at the corners of her eyes. 

See isn't that better? 

I need to go to bed... I feel tired. I'm alright telling you that because this is my life and my life isn't a story, it's a joke. 

Sleeping now...



  1. I may be an odd one but I enjoy editing. The chaanges I make I'm sure will make the book better. I hate doing toe rough draft. So hard to stay on topic. Good luck editing

  2. Writing is mostly editing and rewriting. Fortunately, I enjoy the process. Thanks for sharing

  3. Ahahaha, loved this. 'Feel,' don't 'tell.' So true!


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