I recently posted a writing sample on Spacebattles, and the critical response consisted of saying it was unsubtly telling rather than showing. I looked again and agreed with it. Showing and not telling is a big problem for all writers, but I think it’s an especially gigantic one for me.
Why? I’m somewhat of an “analytical” writer, who writes histories and psuedo-histories. That sort of style works well for a non-fiction piece, but appears flat and forced when it comes to fiction. So I have to change, and it’s not an easy task. It’s so much easier to say something like this:
“The keiretsu’s auto arm had a reputation for being one of the least efficient carmakers in Japan. Its higher priority on fixing miss-assembled cars than on building them right in the first place stood in contrast to its more innovative rivals, and a look inside one of their plants would show a clumsy, brute-force approach to supply.
With this in mind, some industry commentators considered its planned American plant a poisoned chalice for whoever hosted it.”
-than to show a clunky auto plant in actual practice.
This applies to everything from battles to character descriptions-it’s why I have to keep trying desperately to improve.