Actions DO speak louder than words.
Show, don’t tell. Too many stories seem flat and monotonous because their authors do too much telling. When you summarize and generalize, you suck the life out of your stories.
Telling: My dog had a way of cheering me up.
Showing: I arrived home tired and deflated. I walked to the door, and as I pushed the key into the lock, I could see through the window that Emma was crouching in anticipation on the other side. I threw open the door and she leaped out and danced on her hind legs trying desperately to jump into my arms. I bent and picked her up. A fluffy mound of excitement, she immediately began licking my face. I smiled despite myself, and suddenly things didn’t seem so bad.
Besides making your story more interesting, Showing makes it more believable. By showing you support your case that your brother was a brat. Readers like to form their own opinions based on the evidence you present.
Here’s my revision of Monday based on this editing tip:
“Get an orange for me,” Theresa called out as headed down the hall toward the fruit room. “OK, but you have to peel mine, then.” She could peel an orange in a few seconds—with the peel almost coming off in one piece. I took the sections from her and sat down with my math book at the kitchen table. Five algebra problems later, I put my school work away and plopped down in a bean bag chair. Gilligan was already in trouble with the Skipper, but since I’d seen this episode before, I knew what had happened. I was sure it was only 10 minutes later when not only had Gilligan’s Island ended, but also an entire episode of Bewitched. That was our cue to head down to the barn to get started on the chores…
Today’s editing tip is from “Breathe Life into Your Life Story” by Dawn and Morris Thurston. There is some great advice and excellent examples in this book. It is geared to writing your life history, but since scrapbooking is little snippets of a life history, I have found the information to be very useful. Four stars!
Let's hear how it worked for you: