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Examples of Telling to Showing Descriptions

See the techniques of description. Also see example draft finding "telling" sentences to open with "showing."

Telling: As soon as he stepped outside, the door immediately shut behind him, locking him outside, and even though he had his truck keys, his house keys were on a separate ring in the house, so he was basically stuck.


Showing: After a couple of steps outside, he heard on ominous “click”, causing him to spin on his heels and face the door he just exited. Panic gripped him as he pulled on the door and was greeted with the resistance of the locking mechanism, confirming his fear that he was, in fact, locked out. He glanced down at his truck keys and sighed, knowing that his house keys were on a separate ring in the house.


Telling: “We took a cab the next day up the mountain and I of course got mountain sickness right away.”


Showing: Upon the early break of the shimmering sun that rose above the peaks of the pinpointed mountains, we gathered abroad in the six passenger vibrant honey bee yellow cab that flashed its way up the road towards our destination of unsettling wind that will brush itself across our noses, and through our hair, along with cold shiny white snow like the tuff of a bunny’s tail. My head hurting like I haven’t slept in days, and a temperature, that rose unkindly. Mountain sickness was the nickname for this common break of illness that will quickly affect people like eating bad sushi.


Telling: It was a cool fall Saturday evening in November 2009.


Showing: The sun was setting and as the cool wind blew in like a refrigerator door being opened up, we noticed that fall had begun. Leaves were starting to flutter to the ground to join the ocean of orange, yellow and red. I ran into the  Monaco motor home to grab my jacket for the first time this year. Temperatures were starting to drop down below "t-shirt" weather.

Telling: When we finally arrived to the beautiful lake.


Showing: My dad parked the truck and I jumped out eagerly, nearly slipping because there's a lot of little rocks on the ground. I took a deep breathe of relief, we are finally here. The sun was out and about, and no clouds in sight. It was about 90 degrees out, I looked over at the water and I could see the sparkles of how the sun was hitting the water. We had a beautiful view.


Telling: Just the thought of them being able to lay down and not be strapped in and crowded was frustrating, because here we are hip to hip filling every seat.


While my mother and her cousins got to fearlessly lay around comfortably, my cousins and I had to be sitting thigh to thigh, sweating on the tan leather seats, with the sun beating down on us with a broken air conditioner, strapped in the whole car ride.


Telling: My piggy bank was pretty, pink and skinny.


Showing: Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora, Ariel, and Belle. Surrounding a pink castle with a pointy top and a hole on the bottom. It was detailed with flowers in all colors and animals all around. This was the piggy bank I had since I went to Disney when I was little.


Telling: The officer, the neighbors, and the rest of my grandmother’s family gathered around to watch her do the test to see if she could reach the eggs.


Showing: The clearly miffed police officer huffed as he gathered the irked neighbors, my spooked kid grandmother, and the rest of her nervous family. The group huddled tensely around the tangly wires surrounding the chicken coop to determine once and for all if such an unassuming little girl was indeed the culprit. The chickens clucked with shrill unrest as my grandmother trembled to see if she could reach for the pearly white eggs.


Telling: Some of the best food is cooked for this holiday.


Showing: The feast consisted of Red Chile Enchiladas, pork and candy tamales, carne aside, roasted chicken, charro beans, mexican rice, rajas con crema, traditional holiday drinks like stole or chapurrado are served along with aqua de jamaica and horchata, and desserts like flan, arroz con leche and tres leeches cake are served on this beautiful and festive night.


Telling:Arlena was motionless.


Showing: Arlena made her shock visible in a stationary display of upset. Her hands had fallen off the steering wheel and now resided in her lap as she watched the aftermath of her slight mishap unfold before her very eyes, like a dream that she couldn’t shake herself out of.


Telling: I still remember the way her face would light up and her eyes would tear up, as she would go into detail about her life at the Orphanage and her childhood of growing up away from home.


Showing: I remember how moms face would glow, her face would turn flush and her eyes would glisten with water, as her eyes teared up. Mom would then wander off, as if she was going back in time as she would go into great detail about her life at the orphanage and her childhood of growing up away from home.





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