In the world of writing one phrase is used more often than any other when one author is giving advice on how to write: Show, Don’t Tell.

There are so many posts and blogs about this topic that it staggers the mind. And look, I just added to the pile! I digress. Somone just posted a question on how to “show, don’t tell” on Reddit. I rolled my eyes. Why? A ten second Google effort would answer the question, but clearly, this Redditor is looking for Karma. Nonetheless, I clicked and went to the post. Why? I wanted to see what humorous comments I would find. One of those comments had a link. I hovered, wondering if this was going to be a risky click, and clicked.

I was taken to perhaps the best description of Show Don’t Tell I have ever read. Here’s the link (not risky at all, trust me): Nuts and Bolts: “Thought” Verbs.  Still not sure you want to click it? What if I told you the essay on that page was written by Chuck Palahniuk, author of the novel Fight Club? I’ll wait here until you get back.

Back? See? What did I tell you? Brilliant.

By the way, if that has you excited about writing I encourage you to go read Passive vs Active Voice articles. And if that excites you, then I challenge you to go through anything you’ve written and delete the word “that” out of your sentences. Try it. It will improve your writing quite noticeably. Sometimes you can’t remove it. Like in this paragraph.

All-in-all a wonderful essay by Mr. Palahniuk. So happy I read this just before I started the second draft of Freamhaigh.

Ciao.