Tuesday was show-and-tell-day at school, and though I remember the excitement of trying to decide what to bring, what I liked best was seeing what everyone else brought to show.
Yesterday, I found a great article on a website called WriteToDone.com, called “How to Show (Not Tell): A Writing Lesson from John LeCarre.” It is one of the best articles I’ve seen on the rule all writers know–show, don’t tell–because it doesn’t just tell us how not to tell, it shows us some of LeCarre’s very own examples.
The scent grew stronger, richer, with every step she took down the stairway. Rubbing her eyes, she shuffled into the kitchen and heard the rhythmic gurgle of percolating coffee.
She flipped on the light, then stifled a yawn as she stared at the mugs hanging over the counter. Picking one at random, she smiled at her choice. “Happy Boss’s Day,” it said.
As she poured, steam rose from the dark brew and she took a deep breath. To her mouth she drew it, closer, closer, blowing to cool it, anticipating.
Then, a sip.
Ah. A morning to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee. The first time in years. For now, she didn’t care that she’d been fired the day before.
Okay. I’m sitting at my desk now, hands folded in front of me, and I’m almost as excited to see what you’ll “show” as I was back in elementary school. Only difference is, Johnny Winklebuns is not sitting behind me, pulling my hair.
|I had to add this picture of coffee in my grandmother’s rosebud cup, after reading Keli’s comment. Thanks for the memories, Keli!|