The Best Writing of the Week | Show, Don’t Tell

I’m reading, among other books, Alice Walker’s The Color Purple.

And in a passage I just read I came across the clearest example of the power of showing instead of telling. One of the main characters in the book, a strong woman names Sofia, is leaving her husband to go stay with her sister. The man, Harpo, is saddened by this but Alice Walker doesn’t tell us he’s sad; she shows us.

Harpo sit on the steps acting like he don’t care. He making a net for seining fish. He look out toward the creek every once in a while and whistle a little tune. But it nothing compared to the way he usually whistle. His little whistle sound like it lost way down in a jar, and the jar at the bottom of the creek.

What’s the best writing you came across recently?

1 thought on “The Best Writing of the Week | Show, Don’t Tell”

  1. Oh, I have tons of examples, but none handy at the moment to get the quotes right. However, they are all from The Road by Cormac McCarthy. As depressing as that tale is, it has some great imagery and poignant characterization.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.