This is hands-down the most common advice I give to writers, and probably the most common feedback writers hear from editors in general.

Showing means guiding readers to draw their own conclusions rather than reporting to us what transpired. It means allowing me to witness events in real-time along with the POV character rather than summarizing shit that happened previously. It’s the difference between listening to someone recap a movie and actually watching it yourself.


Indy hears a noise and looks behind him to see a giant boulder headed his way. He runs for his life and barely manages to escape.


To put it in purely literary terms:

Telling: Fiona was upset. She still didn’t trust him.

Showing: Fiona thrust the phone at him. “She’s calling again.”

So how do you catch yourself and turn telling into showing? Tune in next time to find out!

Alissa McGowan

Alissa McGowan

Alissa is the founder and owner of Red Pen for Rent. She is passionate about helping authors make their work fucking awesome.
Alissa McGowan

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The Golden Rule: Show, Don’t Tell

by | Jan 13, 2017