Showing vs. Telling in Writing

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Show, Don’t Tell by Toni Buzzeo

“Show, Don’t Tell” Worksheet #2
One of the most important skills of a writer is the ability to SHOW how a character is feeling without TELLING the reader. Without saying, “He was mad,” you can effectively tell the reader about his anger by focusing on how he looks, what he’s doing, what he’s saying, and how he’s saying it. Use one or two complete sentences to SHOW that your character is: 2. 1. Sad ________________________________________ _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ 1.

“Show, Don’t Tell” Worksheet #3
List three verbs that SHOW the feeling of anger.

List three verbs that SHOW the feeling of joy.

2. Happy _____________________________________ __________________________________________ __________________________________________ __________________________________________


Write one line of DIALOGUE (something a character says) that SHOWS that a character is feeling tired. (You may not say, “I’m tired.” Remember, SHOW, don’t TELL.)

4. 3. Angry ______________________________________ _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ 5. 4. Embarrassed___________________________________ ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________

Write one line of dialogue that SHOWS that a character is excited.

Characters not only show their feelings in DIALOGUE, but also in ACTIONS. Write a sentence in which a character SHOWS fear through ACTIONS.

“Show, Don’t Tell” Worksheet #4
Authors use the “Show, don’t tell” rule to SHOW a character trait (such as shyness, kindness, loyalty, etc.) just as they do to show a feeling. This example TELLS the reader that a character is kind: Kelley is kind. This example...
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