When a person has been writing for a while and started to go to workshops and critiques they're taught they should show, not tell in their writing. One of the excellent Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction teachers, Maria V. Snyder has a really nice discussion of Show Vs. Tell on her website. According to Maria, there are five techniques a fiction writer can use to avoid telling the reader:
- Using Point of View (POV)
- Using dialogue
- Using all the senses
- Using picture nouns and action verbs
- Writing in scenes
Wasn't that good? I agree with Maria that it is extremely important to show the story in fiction. This is because fiction is the only medium in which the reader becomes the character(s). And you can't do that without showing.
However, once you learn the writing rules, once you learn how to show, I think it's okay to do a little telling.
Some of my critique partners disagree. They say you should never tell. I think they're still stuck on the "Show, don't tell." rule.
What do you think?