Writers have been hearing about the importance of “showing” for so long that they’ve begun to forget the value of “telling”—of exposition, of summary, of omniscient narration.
If you’ve got something worth showing, then by all means show it. If it’s dramatic action, let us see it happen. If it’s a scintillating exchange of dialogue, then let us hear it, every word.
But don’t be afraid to tell us things, too. Don’t be afraid to tell us, with all your powers of description and even a bit of attitude, about an atmosphere, a landscape, about what’s going on in a character’s mind or in the larger world of your story.
Some days I look at my WIP and think, “Oh, this part is really good” and then other days I think, “What in the world have I written?”
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart.