It's one of the first rules of creative writing you'll hear. It may be the rule you hear the most: "Show, don't tell." Today I'll explain what that rule means, why it's in place, and then why following it too closely can actually harm rather than help your writing. There are places in writing where telling is just frankly better, and even more powerful.
What's the Rule?
Show, don't tell.
Why it's a Rule
Honestly, almost any beginning writer who is getting into writing needs to hear this advice, and probably several times. When I was in college, this was like scripture. I heard it every week, if not every day. This is because naturally, we are wired to "tell" a story rather than "show" one. Telling is easier, and if we don't know the difference, we just do what's natural and easy.