Showing Not Telling and Memoir Writing

30 Sep

Quick Writes: Brainstorm some experiences from your life (a list and incomplete sentences are ok; just collect as many idea as you can. The more the better!)

  • an accomplishment
  • a failure
  • a time you overcame adversity
  • a first time
  • a last time
  • a fight
  • a victory
  • a loss
  • a strange coincidence
  • fish out of water story
  • leaving
  • arriving
  • favorite/ least favorite memory
  • a mistake
  • a beginning
  • an ending

Skill: Showing Not Telling

Showing not Telling- instead of telling us something, show us! If you do a good enough job showing, then you don’t have to tell.


Telling: Roger is mean.

Showing: Roger tripped me in the hallway. At lunch, in between harassing freshmen, he was throwing french fries at our table.

Telling: The girls were excited.

Showing: Giggles and screams filled the arena. The soft curls were now damp with perspiration and the anticipation of the event. They held tight to each other in a mock effort to contain themselves. Arms flailed upward, and voices echoed in varying tones. The moment was here.

Telling: The room was vacant.

Showing: The door opened with a resounding echo that seemed to fill the house. Cob webs once attached flowed freely in the air as the open door brought light to a well worn floor. The light gave notice to the peeling paint on the walls and to the silhouettes once covered by pictures. The new air gave life to a stuffiness that entrapped the room. Faded and torn white sheets covered once new furniture now drowning in dust.

More in depth discussion Herehere, here, and here,

In 3-5 sentences in your notebook, show the following situations:

  • School is weird this year.
  • I feel nervous.

Six Word Memoir

Memoir – a type of writing in which the author tells a story from his/her life.

Listen to this broadcast about 6 word memoirs. Then write 3 6 word memoirs about yourself.

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