Exercise – Show not Tell
This is a mini exercise I did to mark the difference between showing and telling. Showing, as stated in the lecture which is given in the site thegreatcoursesplus.org “involves evocation, evoking feelings, images and sounds”. I tried to write as usual and then “extract” it with evocation. The trick, as our lecturer said in the course, is remembering that reading is a meeting between the writer and the reader; you give reader’s imagination tools and resources to convey the story you are telling.
The ship docked at the Northumbrian palisade in the evening. I was too tired and sick to see our entrance to the great city of Y’nath. While our sailors enjoyed the everlasting fire of Na and emerald green fountains of Ranium I was puking my guts out in the toilet.
Showing (I sincerely hope)
The setting sun turned the sea to red as the sailors hauled the ropes as thick as my leg for docking. I felt bone dry, empty after enduring a journey which reminded me why sea isn’t like the ground. We rolled to and fro and my landlubber stomach disagreed with this motion vehemently and showed its protestation to the situation I put it through by vomiting. And that’s why I didn’t see the city of Y’nath from far away, as vast as a desert but full of light and people instead of sand, and as old as the earth.
It was said that the city was here before we humans evolved; they say that most of the city was rebuilt from the ruins, smiling in the darkness like broken teeth of a skull. And I believe them, because so far I haven’t seen anyone successfully explain how the everlasting fire of Na, burning bright in the Saremon avenue which is like a forest in itself with the trees surrounding it, burned for a thousand years as far as we know or why the Ranium waters which gave the city’s waters its distinct emerald sheen are glowing eerily when it is put inside a jar.