Advice from the art academy

In my twenties, I studied for two years at the art academy.

My specialization was ‘Image and Language’, and one of the courses was ‘Writing’.

I wrote a story that was set in Mongolia – I had been there. I have always remembered the criticism of one of my sentences.

Mongolia is a vast country, with magnificent, untouched nature and an authentic nomadic culture.

I wrote something like that.

I was still young. 😉

The teacher was resolute. Cliché formulations. Too much ‘tell’, too little ‘show’.

This is how I got introduced to the basic rule for creative writing: Show, don’t tell.

You can tell your audience that a country is vast. But it works better to show that. With images and details.

How do you see it?

For example, do the characters ride a horse for a day without seeing anyone? Do they buy two kilos of rice because they know they won’t see a shop for the next week?

Show, don’t tell is also good advice for professional communication.

If you want to say that your product is user friendly, of high quality or sustainable, for instance.

Does the phone have a four-year warranty, is it made from recycled materials, and can you repair all parts yourself (with a manual)?

How do you see it?