Revisions: “Show, Don’t Tell” Example

This is an excerpt from Colossus. I’d like to know what you think of the changes.

Original:

There was nowhere for Heather to hide. She was surrounded by faces she had never seen before. People she had never met before wanted to stop and tell her how incredible her mother or father had been when they were in high school, or at some job she had never even known they had held. Her shoes had started to chafe her feet, and the black dress was making her sweat. She wasn’t accustomed to heels or dresses. She became well-practiced at the art of smiling and nodding, but sometimes the stories or memories were too much.

Revised:

There was nowhere for Heather to hide. The pumps she had swiped from her mother’s closet pinched her feet; A blister had developed on her little toe, and the back was rubbing her heel raw, to the point she was it had started to bleed. The only black dress she owned was made of a heavy, synthetic material that was not designed for ninety-six degree days. She could feel sweat running down her back and between her breasts. She was surrounded by faces she had never seen before. People she had never met before wanted to stop and tell her how incredible her mother or father had been when they were in high school, or at some job she had never even known they had held. Her throat was tight, and she steadied her shaking hands by clutching a cup that had long been drained. She feared that if she opened her mouth, it would open a floodgate of tears and sobs. She perfected the art of smiling and nodding.

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2 thoughts on “Revisions: “Show, Don’t Tell” Example

  1. The revision is SO much better! In the original version, you’re left to figure out what’s happening in the scene. The revision pulls you right in, literally in Heather’s shoes. You’re standing right by her side as she attends her parents’ funeral. When she’s about to cry, you share her grief. Great example of show, don’t tell 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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