East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Show, don’t tell

We were talking about writers and social media with some friends, yesterday, and how you are supposed to post regularly and get Likes on Facebook and shares and what not to increase your reach and develop your platform. I hate it. I mean, when I post something on my Facebook profile or my Twitter channel, or indeed here on my blog, it’s not, usually, thinking

Wow! The punters will love this! My Social Media Score will go up!

So yes, I suck at social media.
On the other hand, talking with my friends, I found out a lot of writers feel awkward about strutting their stuff online just for clicks. An we identified three types of social media writers we really can’t stand.
So, why not post a brief profile of these guys. Maybe I’ll get a lot of likes and shares…

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They say you can’t run a blog about your writing – or, indeed, about someone else’s writing – without a post about the ubiquitous dogma, the One to Rule Them All… Show Don’t Tell.
And who am I to snub traditions?

toolbox-set-for-carShow Don’t Tell is probably the most basic, simple tool in a writer’s toolbox.
I talk about tools and toolbox, and not about rules, because of this story, which many take as an undisputed truth, about rules being unbreakeable.
Now I don’t know how it is out there where you are sitting right now, but here where I am, there is a growing cult of this sho’dontell thing*.
Like most cults, this is based on an oversimplified and partial understanding of its central tenets.
And because this post is being written first and foremost for me, as a pro-memoria and as a way to set my thoughts straight, I am non interested here in finding the cult-leader, or laying the blame on this or that blogger, critic or writing guru.
What I would like to write, here, is the tool’s handbook, the pocket cheat sheet for the Show Don’t Tell utility. Continue reading