Spurred on by a similar article from The Guardian, which collected bits of wisdom from a gaggle of living-legend-status writers, Daniel Abraham, author of The Long Price Quartet,
“Show, don’t tell” is a beginner’s strategy. Dramatize when it’s time to dramatize, summarize when it’s time to summarize. Knowing the difference is the job description.
Be concrete and specific.
Don’t fear infodumps; telling people what’s going on includes them in on the story. Just don’t make them boring.
Withholding information breeds confusion. Providing information builds tension. (“The essential fact is to get real suspense you must let the audience have information.” –Alfred Hitchcock)
Gentle emotions are more powerful than violent ones.
Think about how things smell and taste.
Write fast, edit ruthlessly.
Trust your readers to be as smart as you are, but don’t assume they can read your mind.
Narrators aren’t evil, nor are they sinless. Tell the story in a voice, but not about the voice.
Get out of the way. The more I use fiction to show everyone how clever I am, the more I compromise my story.
As with any list of ‘rules’, one must always approach them with a grain of salt and take only what is useful to them as a writer. Still, given my penchant for Abraham’s writing, there’s certainly an amount of wisdom to be found in his advice.