Dear writer: please don't TELL us, SHOW us
I am sometimes asked to read other writers' work and to offer a critique. Generally, their storyline moves along. BUT while these authors probably have a clear idea in their heads of the appearance of their characters, their surroundings and the locations in which they move, we are not mind readers. We may be told that a character is 'beautiful' another is 'amusing' or that a room is 'badly decorated', a birth is 'long and difficult' or, again, that the countryside is 'unfriendly' THIS IS JUST NOT ENOUGH. We need pictures painted for us, specific details, tellingactions or dialogue that reveals every character as an individual. Otherwise the story remains on a two dimensional level and worst of all, does not hook the reader. Showing rather than telling demands much more work so that we 'see' the characters, the locations, understand them by the way they behave. The reward will be that your reader 'feels they are there.'