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Let’s Talk About Writing: Show, Don’t Tell – by Judy Penz Sheluk…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


Don’t Tell Me the Moon Is Shining; Show Me the Glint of Light on Broken Glass – Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

I first read this quote, attributed to Anton Chekov, in a Creative Writing Workshop back in 2002. To me, it epitomizes the principle of Show, Don’t Tell, and in fact, I love it so much that I included it as an epigraph at the beginning of Moonlight & Misadventure: 20 Stories of Mystery & Suspense. The thing is, Chekhov didn’t write it, at least not quite as succinctly. According to Quote Investigator, this expression was constructed as a summary of the instructions Anton Chekhov gave to his brother, who had literary ambitions, in a letter written in May 1886:

In descriptions of Nature one must seize on small details, grouping them so that when the reader closes his eyes he gets a picture. For instance, you’ll have a…

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About The Owl Lady

Viv Drewa is a Michigan native who has enjoyed reading and writing since 1963. Though she studied medicinal chemistry at the University of Michigan, her passion has always been writing. She had been awarded third place for her nonfiction short story about her grandfather's escape from Poland. Later, she rewrote this story and was published in the "Polish American Journal" as "From the Pages of Grandfather's Life" and has republished it on Amazon.com as a short story. Viv took creative and journalism courses to help in her transition to fulfill her dream of becoming a writer. She worked as an intern for Port Huron's 'The Times Herald", and also wrote, edited and did the layout or the Blue Water Multiple Sclerosis newsletter "Thumb Prints." She also has a business promoting authors. Owl and Pussycat Book Promotions. Viv, her husband Bob and their cat Princess, live in Fort Gratiot, Michigan.

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