The Gift & Power of Showing & Telling

Remember that one day of the week in Kindergarten? The day you were allowed to bring that special object of yours and tell the entire class all about it and why it was special to you? That’s what writers do every day, whether they are poets or novelists, screenwriters or essayists, they tell stories and paint pictures with their words. Today happens to be International Writer’s Day, a day established to recognize and honor those who chose a lifetime of show and tell.

There’s a so called Golden Rule of Writing that says you should show instead of tell, by using sensory details that allow the reader to be immersed in the scene or emotion, as if they were there, experiencing the action or sensing a character’s personality traits. Emily was quite adept at explaining abstract concepts using imagery and concrete objects that readers could easily relate to. In other words, she was really good at show and tell. When I read her work, I get the feeling that like me, she viewed words as almost sacred conveyors of emotions, thoughts and stories. The following quote illustrates her understanding of the power they hold.

“I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it until it begins to shine.”

Emily Dickinson

My quote about the power of words.

Today’s Carol and Emily poem is about words, writing, and the hope that in sharing our words, we writers touch hearts. And perhaps, some of our words even shine.

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