Monday Stretch: Show and Tell


After you have read or reviewed Episode 1: Show and Tell, try your hand at this exercise.

Purpose: To recognize the difference between showing and telling in prose

Setting: While Virgil weeds his garden, Adrianne watches him. (Feel free to embellish the characters and surroundings as you see fit.)

Assignment: Write one paragraph from Virgil’s point of view (does not have to be first person) in which you show what happens, and then write one paragraph from Adrianne’s point of view (again, not necessarily first person) in which you tell what happens.

Questions:

  1. Which paragraph seems more effective?
  2. How could you use “telling”? In what situations would such an approach work?

Bonus credit: Write a short story in first person with an unreliable narrator who occasionally tells the reader what to see, think, or feel. Have fun with it.

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