Show, not tell (but then again, sometimes do tell)

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If you want to share an anecdote or story from your life, pretend the readers weren’t there. Because they weren’t. “You had to be there” never makes a joke funny.

Readers crave your anecdotes and stories. They really do. So give ‘em the whole megillah. Instead of, “The party was a riot!” or "I’m depressed today," carefully explain why. Elaborate. Parties and depression are perfectly good writing subjects. The Great Gatsby, for instance, has plenty of both.

Anything makes a good subject, as long as you take your time and crystallize the details, tying them together and actually telling a story, rather than offering a simple list of facts. Do readers really want to know how miserable you are? Yes. But they’re going to want details, the precise odor of your room, why you haven’t showered in a week, or how exactly somebody broke your heart. One — liners won’t suffice.

At the same time, you don’t want to over — explain yourself. Understatement can be thunderous, or humorous, or heartbreaking. Or all three.

Dennis A. Mahoney, How to Write a Better Weblog

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