Writing Challenge: day 37

Day 11 of the Armchair Genealogist‘s writing challenge. Today, I’m trying to learn the difference between showing and telling. Lynn shared a quote by Lee Gutkind from You Can’t Make This Stuff Up.

Writing in scenes represents the difference between showing and telling.  The lazy, uninspired writer will tell the reader about a subject, place, or personality, but the creative nonfiction writer will show that subject, place, or personality, vividly, memorably – and in action. In scenes.

I think I understand but when I go to do the assignment, I’m not so sure. The task is to take a highlighter to a chapter of my favorite family history book. I don’t know that I have one so I print out the essay “Aunt” from one of the previous lessons instead. But it seems like I’m highlighting almost everything. I understand that the suggestion for nonfiction is 50-70% scenes. So I’m not sure that I’ve learned today’s lesson properly and not sure how to go about learning it better. Maybe a google search will help.

The first few things I found googling “show don’t tell lesson” were for grade school kids. It helped some. I also found I lesson Review Fuse, that I think helped some more. This is going to take some work and practice. Part of today’s lesson was to go over my writing for show not tell stuff. I don’t have much writing to go over yet but I did the free-writing from a few days ago that I posted here. I mostly did dialog with very little showing beyond that. I have so much to learn!


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