A Show Don’t Tell Master

Christie Blatchford is my Show Don’t Tell Writing Guru. The National Post writer shows readers what she wants them to see, instead of spelling it out word by word. This is the hard way to write. But it’s the best way.

Blatchford visits Union Station in downtown Toronto the day after RCMP arrest suspects in an alleged plot to derail a VIA Rail train. In the column she writes (click here to read it), she wonders who would have been the victims of an attack on Union Station.

This is what/how she shows:

“The older couple, he sweating and breathless, she organized and clearly in charge but quietly frantic, who went off to find out where they should go next?

While she was gone, the old fellow’s phone beeped that he had received a text: The sight of him fumbling, with arthritic hands, to retrieve the tiny phone, first out of a pocket and then out of its fancy leather pouch, and then punching the keyboard, inexplicably broke my heart.”

2 Comments

  1. Great post Karen. We often think of Christie–whether we agree with her or no!-as a gem for inciting us to think & reflect. This is an uncommon response to the VAST majority of contemporary journalists

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