Welcome to Telling Tuesday, a day reminiscent of those in school when I looked forward to seeing what everyone brought for show and tell. This weekly feature was inspired by an article on 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.
” . . . descriptions can set the scene, convey the inexpressible, and turn the reader into a witness, instead of remaining a mere bystander.” — Mary Jaksch, author of the article
Each week, I’ll give a “telling” prompt, and invite you to show us, to make us a witness, not a mere bystander. Feel free to use the prompt, or the photo (if a photo is shown.) Of course, if you have a completely different “telling” prompt, you can “show” us that, too.
As always, I invite you to leave a link to your website or blog with your comments.
THIS WEEK’S PROMPT:
The food in the refrigerator looked gross.
Ms. Human Resources smiled and opened the break room refrigerator. “And this is where our employees keep their lunches.”
I had two simultaneous and inseparable urges. One, to turn away quickly, lest I breathe spores the strange life forms surely exhaled upon being exposed to light. At the same time, I couldn’t turn away, overtaken by a curiosity almost as strange as that of a passerby at the scene of an accident.
I’d never seen cheese with such a thick five o’clock shadow. The pizza, apparently bored with Parmesan, had decided to grow its own blue cheese.
But strangest of all was the tiny voice I heard coming from the tomatoes. “I’m melting. What a cruel world. I’m melting.”
I felt myself turn green as I feared the aliens inside the refrigerator had already infected me with their spores. I held my breath and ran out of the building as fast as my turning stomach would allow.
“Wait! Wait!” cried Ms. Human Resources. “I’m not finished with my orientation yet. And you forgot your employee badge!”
Bursting through the door and into fresh air, I bent over my knees and gulped deep breaths. When my lungs felt clear of contamination, I straightened again and stared at the entrance of the building. I couldn’t help laughing at the sign I’d missed earlier:
ESPIAL LABS, Inc.
Bringing new life to those in need.