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On writing: show … don’t tell

September 25, 2013 12 comments

Show, don’t tell. Show, don’t tell. That’s the mantra, right? Well, I read the following quote today:

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

Not sure why, but this quote really struck me. Perhaps it’s because the same old advice you hear, and often forget, is immediately followed with a wonderful example of how words can create images. If I can remember this quote every time I sit down to write, beautiful pictures just might spring forth from my fingertips.

–dp