‘Show and not Tell’ For Children’s Writers

Show and not Tell’ For Children’s Writers

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” – Anton Chekhov

What is “Show, don’t Tell”?

  • This writing technique allows the reader to her own experience of the story, instead of being instructed by the author.
  • The mental images are created for the reader through dialogue and action, not through elaborate explanation by the author.
  • The focus is on well-placed details that can be interpreted by the reader, rather the author feeding her the facts.
  • The reader is expected to be an active participant in the narrative process, not a passive recipient of the author’s viewpoint.

Examples of “Show, don’t Tell”

Telling: Lydia did not like sharing. She was selfish.

Show, not Tell: Jane had barely glanced at the doll when Lydia rushed in and snatched at it. Clutching the doll close to her, she stuck out her chin at Jane. “Mine.” She said, firmly.

Telling: The cake was delicious.

Show and Tell: It was a luscious, chocolate cake with melted fudge oozing down the sides. Each bite of the moist, rich slice had her taste buds screaming in delight. Mmmmm, so very good.

Telling: Mrs. Brown was very upset with her noisy class.

Show and Tell: Mrs. Brown walked into the noisy classroom, waving her arms and shouting, “That’s quite enough.”

Why “Show, don’t Tell”?

Showing creates a clearer picture of the setting and the action in the mind of the reader. And when a character is revealed by what he thinks, says and does; it allows for a greater connect to form between the reader and the character. The more empathy the reader feels, the greater her involvement with the story and greater the likelihood of her staying with the story to the end.

So a children’s writer should evoke feelings and emotions in the readers through vivid writing and strong use of dialogues and actions. It is not a writer’s job to tell the reader what she should feel.

When not to use “Show, don’t Tell”

While this technique works wonderfully in the dramatic scenes and in the meaty part of the story, it is certainly not to be applied to every scene of the story. This will drown the narration in descriptions and adjectives and water down the impact of the important scenes in the story. And of course, it can make the text heavy and exhausting for both the readers and the writer.

So, telling can be used as a shortcut to move through the unimportant bits in the story. And this will allow the story to progress at a reasonable pace, while holding the attention of the reader at the dramatized parts.

Don't miss out on this limited time offer!

Amazing illustration sale

Hire an Illustrator for Children's Books
Hire an illustrator from £59.00 £120.00
Hire an illustrator for your next project and receive custom-made, high-quality illustrations from our experienced team. We offer a wide range of illustration styles, from Book to Technical, and guarantee 100% unique artwork with a money-back guarantee. You'll also own all copyrights to the final artwork. If you need to hire an artist for more than 40 hours, please contact us for a special price.
Children's Book Illustration Services
Sample Book Illustration Services £25.00 £90.00
Looking to self-publish your book but don't know where to start? Try our Sample Illustration service for just £30 (was £90) and bring your characters and vision to life. If you love our quality and professionalism, sign up for our full children's book publishing package. Take advantage of this limited time offer and see what we can do for you!
Custom Tattoo Design Service
Custom Personalised Tattoo Design Service from £59.00 £120.00
Custom personalized tattoo design! Our experienced artists can help you create a tattoo that is as unique as you are. Our team of experts will collaborate with you to design artwork that expresses your personality, style, and vision. Fuel your self-expression and get inked today!
Educational Icon Design
Custom icon illustration service from £19.00 £40.00
Our icon illustration service provides 100% unique, custom-made icons to enhance the user experience of your digital products. Expertly crafted, our icons are perfect for use in logos, games, e-Learning, websites, apps, software, branding, and advertising. With unlimited revisions to the artwork and a first proof delivered within 2 working days, we guarantee your satisfaction.  If you need more than 10 icon designs, please contact us for a special price. Our price starts from £5
Mastercard PayPal Shop Pay SOFORT Visa