Monday, August 22, 2011

Impromptu Blog Contest - "SHOW" me what you got!

I know everyone and their dog has blogged/read/written articles about the topic of "Telling vs. Showing."  But this one's different.  It's for swag.

I was watching Frasier the other night (Best. Show. Ever.  Outside of Dexter and South Park, anyway...) and I was tickled pink by one of his witty turns of phrase.  Niles says something like, "I went to the gym to pump some iron and worked up quite a sweat."  To which Frasier replies, "Pump iron?  Niles, you don't even pump your own gas." 

He could have just said, "I know you don't go to the gym; just look at those flimsy muscles!"  But no; they went with something clever and almost ridiculous, and thereby made their point so much better.  Delightful. 

I'm a sucker for wit and irony anyway--probably why I enjoy that show so much--but it made me wonder, how else can we writers"show" rather than "tell," and elicit a chuckle?

I came up with a few examples (some inspired by Frasier and some not):

Telling: John was sad and poor. 
Showing: On Christmas Eve, John got mugged walking home from the soup kitchen.

Telling: Mary loves pop culture. 
Showing: Mary spent the night in jail after Tom Cruise caught her stealing his garbage for her “collection.”

Telling: Hank can be a sore loser.
Showing: Hank broke his son’s leg trying to win a three-legged-race at the church picnic.

Telling: My sister is talented.
Showing: My sister eats fire while riding a unicycle, playing the guitar one-handed, and singing “The Worst Pies in London” backwards.

Your turn!  Come up with a bland & uninspired "telling" sentence, then rework it into a dazzling, mind-blowing, rib-tickling "showing" sentence and put them both in the comments section below this post by Friday, August 26th (oh, and, ya know...follow my blog :D).  The wittiest comment (or comments) wins a free glass tile pendant of whatever the winner(s) want. 

I have lots of inspirational writing gods/patrons, etc., which you can peruse at your leisure HERE, as well as HERE.  I also have a smattering of retro/rockabilly-style zombies which haven't been set in glass yet but the templates are still pretty awesome.  Or I can make it of anything else you want.

This was totally unplanned, and I have no set number of pendants that I'll give away.  At least 1, of course, but perhaps as many as 5.  I don't know.  It all depends on how much you all delight me.

Good luck!!


  1. Telling: It was a dark and stormy night.
    Showing: The sky looked like the aftermath of a two-year-old making whipped cream--except with eggplant, not cream.

  2. Telling: My husband was lazy.
    Showing: Bill shouted for me to come into the den and push the remote across the coffee table, since he couldn't reach it from the couch.

  3. telling: veronica is fat.
    showing: my god, when veronica walks down the street people have to stop, look at her, and shout, "damn, you're ass is so wide that kim kardashian's whole family moved in, got married, had babies, got divorced, subsequently remarried, and set up a refugee camp. oh, and there's still room for two more people in there but the houses are being renovated by a construction crew and are thusly unavailable for walk throughs at this time." and then she cries. hard.

  4. Telling: She likes entering contest.
    Showing: Her fingers flew across the keyboard as she begged her brain to release enough wit to win this contest.

  5. Hey Becky I already posted once but I ran across this as I was doing a revamp of my MS and I thought of your showing vs telling piece.

    Telling: Her daughter was almost thirteen at the time.
    Showing: She was beginning to see having a teenage daughter might not be so bad after all. She was enjoying her daughter's adult like choices, with nothing involving video games, cold pizza, loud noise or a ball pit.

  6. Telling: Dolores had bad luck.
    Showing: After a lifetime of misery, poverty and pain caused by perpetually lost or misfiled paperwork, Dolores died and found out that because the priest forgot to file her baptismal certificate, God was sending her to Hell.

  7. Telling: Kiefer was in a bad mood.

    Storms brewed in Kiefer's eyes, and had any children with balloons been nearby, he would have popped every single one of them without remorse and laughed in the face of every crying child.

  8. Telling: A dog bit my head off while I was eating a burger.

    Showing: My, this 100% Beef Whopperitti sure tastes — Arghhhhh! Arghhhh! Arghhhhhhhhhhh!


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