A First Draft Is Always a Tell-All

First Draft – Show don’t Tell…

Meg Dowell Writes

We’re all familiar with the cliche yet essential piece of advice all writing instructors dish out on the first day of class: “Show, don’t tell.”

This is, of course, a very simple way to get across a highly complex literary concept. It’s not just meant for novelists prone to giving too much of their characters and plots away. It’s also a tactic professionals like journalists use to not only pick out the most important information from mountains of research, but to figure out the best way to present it — the most effective way to tell a story.

Knowing all this — that we should only feed our readers so much info — it’s very easy to let our paranoia get in the way of writing and finishing a good story. Should I even bother with this chapter? Is this something the readers needs to know now, later — or…

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