Show, Not Tell: Improve your Writing
Show, Not Tell: Improve your Writing

Good morning everyone, I am Alan, and I am
going to talk about Show Not Tell. I must warn you that, I am not only going
to talk about what is Show Not Tell like other videos, but I am also going to talk about how Show Not Tell
benefits people, how to use Show Not Tell, and the origin of ‘Show Not Tell’. Show Not Tell is useful in your creative writing. It is 200% more likely to get a higher score
or higher performance in your writing assignments, creative writing competitions and any storytelling. You must use Show Not Tell if you want to
engage your readers. Show Not Tell acts like a magnet. It hooks your readers’ interests in seconds. If you want to know more, stay tuned. Alright, so, what is Show Not Tell? In fact, Show Not Tell is one of the most
common techniques used in creative writings. Wait a moment. It seems that my English teacher said something
like ‘show don’t tell’ instead of ‘Show Not Tell’. Oh! He must be wrong. I have heard this kind of questions many times
from my friends, relatives, etc. There is an alternative name for Show Not
Tell, which is Show, Don’t Tell. So, remember, do not say that your teacher
is wrong when they say ‘Show Don’t Tell’ because Show Don’t Tell equals to Show Not
Tell. One more difference between Show Not Tell
and Show Don’t Tell is…. Ha. I will explain in another video. Remember to subscribe by clicking the Wizword369
logo at the bottom-right corner of this video to subscribe! Alright, let’s get back to our topic. I am going to tell you how to use Show Not
Tell. But before we begin, I am going to show you
the origin of Show Not Tell. In fact, the term ‘Show Not Tell’ is from
this sentence: ‘Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken
glass.’ This sentence was said by a Russian playwright,
Anton Chekhov. How can we apply show not tell? I will first show you the examples of show
not tell. Then, you will understand how to apply show
not tell easily. Let’s look at this sentence:
She was very happy. TERRRRRIBLE! This sentence is boring, dull and not interesting. How can you make it more interesting? In fact, you can tell your readers how the
character was happy. For example, you can tell your readers that
‘She jumped up and down with joy’. I use a formula to help make descriptive sentences
using show not tell, called the WASTE formula. I didn’t ask you to waste anything, but
it’s just a name, I think you know what I mean. The WASTE formula stands for:
Words Actions
Senses Thoughts
Expressions How can you describe that she was happy? First, let’s go for words. Imagine what you will say when you feel happy. Think of some interjections (or exclamations)
you can use to describe the happy feeling. For example, ‘Yeah’. We can also describe the changes in her voice. You can say that the girl was yelling with
joy. Second, we need to describe the actions of
the girl instead of just saying that she was happy. How can we describe the actions of the girl? You can write something like ‘She was jumping
up and down with joy’. Third, we may talk about her senses. ‘She could feel the sun greeting happily
with its warm grin’ is an example to describe that the girl was happy. Fourth, you may talk about her thoughts. What was her thinking? Maybe you can say ‘After looking at her
results, she was thinking about how her parents would grin at her,’
Fifth, you may talk about her expressions. When a person is happy, can you think of some
facial expressions? Think about her eyebrows. ‘Her eyebrows lowered, and her eyes became
a curve line. Her smile stretched from ear to ear.’ Now, you have a general idea of what is show
not tell. You have to show your readers what you can
see directly from your eyes or something that you imagine. Do not tell your readers the conclusion on
what you see. For example, when you see the girl jumped
up and down with joy, do not conclude that she is happy. Say that she is jumping up and down with joy
directly. In this way, the readers can draw their own
conclusions. I will give you another example. Sitting alone on the beach by the sounding
sea, Bob let the gentle wind blow his hair around. His usual smile disappeared into his small
and tiny face. He saw something in the sky. It must be something that is really close
to him. He looked and watched, heard and listened,
but he could not decide what was that. He only felt the warmth coming from the sky
in this freezing night. Was his dearest mother watching him up on
the sky? Thinking about this complicated question,
with life and death, hope and love, his tears slowly dropped on the dry sand beneath him. I know that this paragraph isn’t written
well enough, but this time Show Not Tell is applied in this paragraph. Therefore, you could learn from this paragraph
on how the writer applied Show Not Tell. Can you identify the parts where the Show
Not Tell is used? Just think of the WASTE formula. These are the sentences that I have applied
show, not tell: Expressions: His usual smile disappeared into
his small and tiny face. Thoughts: Thinking about this complicated
question, with life and death, hope and love, his tears slowly dropped on the dry sand beneath
him. Senses: He looked and watched, heard and listened,
but he could not decide what was that. Actions: He sat alone on the beach sitting
by the sounding sea, letting the gentle wind blow his hair around. In this paragraph, Show Not Tell is used to
describe the sadness of Bob because his mother passed away. If you really want your readers to feel on
what you are describing on their own, use show not tell. Give you one more example. If you want to describe the Christmas tree
is so beautiful, how can you describe? Think of the actions. Oops! A Christmas Tree can’t move? What would be its actions? A Christmas Tree isn’t an animal! It’s impossible for the Christmas Tree to
have expressions, unless you are using personification! Yes, you can use personification, but it is
not our focus today. What should we do? In fact, think of who is the person who said
the Christmas tree is beautiful. If it’s you, then describe YOUR actions
on the Christmas Tree, describe YOUR expressions when you look at the Christmas Tree. What are your thoughts if you can see this
Christmas Tree? Furthermore, you can also describe the Christmas
Tree in details, for example, how tall is the Christmas Tree? Are there baubles on the Christmas Tree? Are the baubles sparkling? What colour are they? Are there any presents under the Christmas
Tree? How many? Could you describe more about the presents? Could you also describe the leaves of the
Christmas Tree? What shape is it? Is it similar to the Christmas Tree. In fact, you do not really need to many words
to describe. One action can be enough. For example, if you want to say, ‘the man
is scared’, you only have to say that ‘the man is trembling from his head to his toes.’ However, I would recommend you write more
to extend your contents in your creative writing. It will make your book less boring. In fact, one of the free famous proofreaders
out there can check and ask you to use Show Not Tell. It is free to use and it will help you check
for Show Not Tell issues for the first 500 words. It’s called ProWritingAid. Well, this video is not sponsored or anything. However, I am really impressed, even in the
free version, ProWritingAid checks for Show Not Tell. In fact, ProWritingAid is good for fiction
writers (or for creative writers). There are many proofreaders out there, including
Grammarly, but they can’t catch issues like Show Not Tell in the free version. I will put the link of ProWritingAid in the
description below. Alright, now you know how to use show, not
tell. This is your turn. Why not taking a quiz from Google Form? Just click the link at the end of this video. Please put a like if you do, remember to subscribe. What do you think about this English lesson. Do you also find it boring (because I did
not use show not tell in this lesson)? Oh, I would like to hear your thoughts in
the comments below. This is Alan, from Wizword369, and as always,
go wizwording the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *