A common instruction for writers is to show rather than tell. Here is an example of what this means:

My mother is often cross with me. She always shouts at me. – The writer is telling us

“Why did you not do all the washing up yesterday?” my mother shouted. “And when are you going to put the tap off properly so it doesn’t drip? You drive me mad!” – Here the writer is showing us the angry mother, so we get a real picture of her.

Check your work. Do you have paragraphs like:

I got out of bed and I went to eat breakfast. Then I washed myself and went to school.

This paragraph is full of telling. You can leave it out to focus on the main part of your story. However, if it is an important part of your story, then show us what happens, something like this:

My cellphone alarm went off and I jumped awake. It was still half dark and cold, but I forced myself up and went through to the kitchen. My brother was already there, stirring the morning porridge. He took one look at me and served me up some and we sat together to eat it. The sweetness and heat of it made the morning feel better. “Thanks bhuti,” I said, and went to splash myself clean. Now I was ready for the day.

This paragraph is much longer, and really gives us a picture of the narrator’s morning. These small details: the cellphone alarm, the weather, the porridge – all help us imagine the scene more clearly in our minds.

***