Show as well as tell
Having trouble remembering the difference between abstract and concrete? Let Stephen Sondheim help.
The musical composer and lyricist of “Sweeney Todd,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and “Into the Woods” once said:
“If you told me to write a love song tonight, I’d have a lot of trouble. But if you tell me to write a love song about a girl with a red dress who goes into a bar and is on her fifth martini and is falling off her chair, that’s a lot easier.”
Love is the idea, the concept, the theme. It’s abstract.
The woman in the red dress illustrates that idea. It’s concrete.
|Love||Woman in the red dress|
It’s the difference between showing and telling.
How do you make sure you’re showing and not just telling? Pass the red pen-yellow highlighter test.