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Don’t say it’s a beautiful day. Don’t say the sunset was lovely. Don’t say the woman or man was good looking. Rather, show it by writing a picture in a few words that allows the reader to make a mental picture. As Alfred Hitchcock said when asked why his scenes were not more violent, he said that was because what the viewer conceived was far more powerful that anything he could put on the screen.
No: It’s a beautiful day
Yes: As the sun rose over the horizon, it poured light and warmth into the world making the ice and snow sparkle. That kind of a day. Made you glad to be alive.
No: The sunset was lovely
Yes: Don’t use ‘was’ couch your description in the present. And don’t use the passive ‘was.’
The sunset was red and yellow and purple. Its rays blasted the clouds into a spectrum of dark and light silhouette in the sky. The late afternoon sun painting the trees a magnificent green.
No: The Man or Woman is good looking.
Yes: He was six feet tall. Dark hair. Wearing a tailored suit over a toned and athletic figure. Did I say he had blue eyes? I blinked. Did a double take. That’s when I noticed the rest. Blue eyes, long dark lashes.
See the difference? Show don’t tell.