Using Descriptive Detail

Example: Showing in Creative Writing

From the moment she woke up in the morning, Mrs. Jones smiled at the thought of her garden. Most mornings, she'd scald her mouth trying to gulp down her coffee so that she could get outside while the ground was still damp from the morning dew. Once she knelt down in the soil, she lost track of all time and all concerns of her body. She would work well into the evening, barely noticing when the nails of her left hand would break to the point of bleeding. Mrs. Jones' Jones jeans were always stained on the knees with thick mud, and her arms were always bruised and scraped. But she didn't mind a bit.

Comment: The "showing" version of Mrs. Jones' story does a more effective job of involving the reader. Although the word "love" is never mentioned in relationship to her garden, the reader can clearly infer Mrs. Jones' feelings through the descriptive depiction of her actions. Readers have not merely been "told" that Mrs. Jones loves her garden. Instead, readers are able to see and feel this love for themselves.

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