Sunday, September 14, 2008

Show, Don't Tell

That's an axiom in writing -- and one that I still sometimes struggle with (I tend to information-dump).

But if you read these lyrics, you have the perfect example of the concept.
The tents grew smaller as we rode away
On earth that tells of many passing days
The months of peace and all the years of war
The lives of love and all the lives of fears

That is "show, don't tell."

I could spend five verses talking about the sad history of the place the caravan was traveling through, but a master lyricist can condense it all down to one line:  "The months of peace and all the years of war."

I am so jealous...I wish I could make words do that.

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