Show me a story

I don't profess to know much about writing. I write about what interests me and thankfully that sometimes interests the odd editor too.

But one think writers do like to debate is the 'show not tell' rule. Instead of telling a reader the paint is drying, show them...or something like that.

Some folk profess to know all there is to know about writing and regularly demonstrate this by telling other mere mortals how to do it. Can you see where this is leading?

So how come they don't show writers how to achieve this?

It's not complicated. I'm going to show you here with a novel way to articulate the rule - and a fun one too.

Choose a film of a book that’s high on visual humour. A classic example is the 2008 movie Marley and Me – the moving true tale of a man and his best friend. Now being a dog Marley couldn’t say much, in fact his script was pretty light on dialogue. But his antics were hilarious. So how did John Grogan show them in his book – without telling us, obviously?

I shan’t spoil it for you, but watch the film then digest the book – I promise it will show you more than I could possibly tell!

Of course you can apply the method to any genre you enjoy – choose a low-dialogue scene and then follow it in the book.

BTW I sent this little ditty off to a writing magazine. They didn't show anyone. But if it suddenly appears, I'll acknowledge them here. Until then, the copyright is mine, all mine.