Editor’s notes sometimes come with rejection letters. Often times, they bear one common advice: show; don’t tell. While we can’t rule out telling in writing, it is better to show, than to tell. We can also show and tell, but showing must be given priority. Here are illustrations of showing and telling to help improve your writing.

Show!✔️
Brian pursed his lips and clenched his fists into tight balls. Try as he might, he could not contain himself. Within seconds, he erupted into a volcano.
Tell✖️
Brain was angry. He started to yell.

Show!✔️
A gigantic grin spread across Bailey’s face, and her eyes lit up like the sky on the 4th of July.
Tell✖️
Bailey was happy.

Show!✔️
Bella couldn’t help herself. Her jaw dropped to the floor as her eyebrows shot towards the ceiling.
Tell✖️
Bella was shocked.

Show!✔️
When she saw her dad enter the gym, she sprinted across the room, jumped into his arms, and buried her face in his chest.
Tell✖️
She was excited to see her dad.

Show!✔️
An ache started deep in his stomach. He turned away as his eyes welled up with tears.
Tell✖️
He felt sad.

Now, imagine what a character in your next big story is doing, and try showing it to your readers, instead of telling.

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