Hello readers of mine! I’m sorry I missed a week of posting something.  I was swimming at the pool since it is so muggy and hot out here!

Today I’ll be sharing my number one tip for young writers.  

One of the things I learned last year is the concept of “show, don’t tell.”  I learned it from my mom and from a book called Spilling Ink.  Spilling Ink is a how-to storytelling book for young writers by two children’s authors.

“Show don’t tell” means you use details about scenery and characters to illustrate the story so the reader can picture it in their mind.  If you just tell them everything straightforward it’s just plain boring and you don’t really feel it.  

What I’m writing depends on the type of day I’m having and the emotions I’m feeling.  And the weather too!  For example, today is wet and rainy outside. I feel like writing a homey, cozy story.

Here’s a small sample of a cozy atmosphere story where I “show” instead of “tell”: 

I crumpled another drawing and threw it into the crackling fire place. How was I suppose to make a Christmas dress pattern for the parade if I didn’t know what to design? I heard the faint sound of people laughing outside in the snow.

That would be me if I weren’t stuck inside the house trying to get this dress finished for Christmas Eve.  

Here’s example of a sunny atmosphere story: 

“I got it!” Cried Mia.  She peeked inside the net to see the orange monarch butterfly flit out. “Okay, now I don’t anymore,” she said.  I dashed after the butterfly with my own net. It alighted next to the running brook on a wild daisy. I stood still, my shadow looming over the butterfly.  Catching butterflies takes patience.

Wham! My net landed over the the flower and the butterfly. “I got it!” I yelled. I swiped at my brow.  It sure was hot out here. 

Do you feel the difference in the two stories?

In the first example there’s a crackling fire and the sound of people playing out in the snow.  You can feel it is cold outside, but I didn’t have to tell you that directly. 

In the second example there’s a butterfly and a running brook.  The protagonist swipes at her brow and tells you it’s hot out.  So you can feel it’s probably a story that takes place in the summer. 

Showing is better than telling because it makes your reader feel like they’re right there with you in the story.  

When you are going to write a page of anything here are a few tips: 

  1. Get a good pen. (If it makes you feel official glue a feather on top!) 
  2. Find some lined paper.  I like journals because it’s like a diary. (I have these!) If you prefer to write on the computer that’s okay! 
  3. Pick a cozy spot like on a sunny porch, in your living room, or on your bed with a fluffy pink blanket.

Okay now you are armed with my top three writing tools!  Thank you for reading!  I hope you’ll use this tip when you write your next story.