descriptively, it’s important to keep in mind that you want to SHOW your
audience what you’re describing, not merely tell them about it.
For example, let’s
say you were describing the setting of something (where/when a character was
and/or where/when an event took place).
- You could TELL
“It was a hot day in July.”
- But to write
descriptively, you’ll want to SHOW your audience:
“It was July, and the high summer sun beat
the heavy, steaming air down against my chest so that my lungs had to fight
“The sun shone, a beaming light high in the
July sky, touching everything on earth with its balmy fingers.”
“As the glistening sweat of my glass of iced
tea dripped to sizzle on the asphalt, I sighed with content that July had
effectively erased all the lingering memories of the icy, cold winter.”
Now, which one of
these is more a SHOW and which is more a TELL? (highlighted ones
are more SHOW)
Her seductive dress called attention to
black dress looked like it had a rip down the middle that never ended.
eyes and arched eye brows make her look very inviting.
Her intriguing facial expression makes
you desire her.
Her mouth structure seems very tired.
The grin on
her face is that of someone mocking you, one who is deliberately trying
to hurt you, never caring or trying to stop themselves.
Her sexual body language and erotic
facial expressions insinuated that Marilyn is a tease.
glistening, conniving eyes reveal that Marilyn is hiding something and
that she knows what she wants.
Now, let’s re-write the following two
sentence to make them SHOW more:
Her “know it all” physical expression made her seem intimidating.
The intriguing look in her eyes made all the men attracted to her.