Quotes / Show, Don't Tell

"What, all this junk, the yak-yak-yak? It would've broke my heart! Dialogue gags are a dime a dozen, but a good sight gag is hard to come by."
Tex Avery on TV cartoons, quoted from Comedy for Animators

"A lot of characters in modern cartoons are simply mouthpieces for the writers. They speak in the writer's voice rather than the character's voice, tell the jokes that the writer and his writer friends think are funny, but are totally out-of-character for the character who is actually saying them. This common writer's flaw is known as "writerspeak". "I'll bet that asteroid will burn out in the atmosphere and shrink to the size of a chihuahua's head". That's writerspeak. It's informational, a setup for a gag that is supposed to happen at the end of the cartoon. A gag that the audience will predict the second they hear the writerspeak setup and congratulate themselves when they find that they were duped into being right. A gag that the cartoonists are not allowed to actually make funny by drawing the payoff funny. This is a line of dialogue that could be read by any character in the story. To the writer of a line like this, the characters are interchangable, just an assortment of extra mouths for the writer, whose mouth doesn't appear on screen. The writerspeak writer avoids writing character specific dialogue by using catch phrases. If you just tack on "D-oh" at the end of the line, then you know who said it. You could change that to "Cowabunga" or whatever else and instantly define your characters."

Notes: This scene was clipped from Chapter 11 "Complications." It bugged me to remove it, but I couldn't put my finger on why that was, so I let it go. When it was too late to put it back, I finally realized what was bothering me. Though I refer to Bella's clumsiness in gym several times, I never really show it in action. This was the one time that Edward was "watching," and thus the natural place to showcase that clumsiness. Ha ha.

Okay, Beartato. It's time to begin my comics class. Lesson one is "Show, don't tell." What this means is- Beartato, sit down! What the- Oh no! A pterodactyl has appeared and it's carrying Beartato away! Beartato is using his martial arts training, but now there are two pterodactyls! They're taking him to their nest! Now he'll never learn about "Show, don't tell!"

Any dickhead with a bluesuit can be (and is) taught to say "make it clearer", and "I want to know more about him". When you've made it so clear that even this bluesuited penguin is happy, both you and he or she will be out of a job. [..] any dickhead, as above, can write, "but, Jim, if we don't assassinate the prime minister in the next scene, all Europe will be engulfed in flame".
David Mamet's master class memo to the writers of The Unit

Don't use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the things you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was "terrible," describe it so that we'll be terrified. Don't say it was "delightful"; make us say "delightful" when we've read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, "Please, will you do my job for me?"
C. S. Lewis, letter to a fan who requested writing advice

My films, you say, are literary: The things I say could be said in a novel. Yes, but what do I say? My characters' discourse is not necessarily my film's discourse. There is certainly literary material in my tales, a preestablished novelistic plot that could be developed in writing and that is, in fact, sometimes developed in the form of a commentary. But neither the text of these commentaries, nor that of my dialogues, is my film: Rather, they are things that I film, just like the landscapes, faces, behavior, and gestures. And if you say that speech is an impure element, I no longer agree with you. Like images, it is a part of the life I film. What I say, I do not say with words. I do not say it with images either, with all due respect to the partisans of pure cinema, who would speak with images as a deaf-mute does with his hands. After all, I do not say, I show. I show people who move and speak. That is all I know how to do, but that is my true subject. The rest, I agree, is literature.
Eric Rohmer, Letter to a Critic: Concerning my Contes Moraux (Moral Tales)

"In Gehn's bedroom, you can find a spherical machine with a lever on it. If you activate the lever, you will see a video of a woman saying some gibberish: "Blurga? Scrugla pridla bugga." Boring, right? Well, you have to understand that this woman is in fact Gehn's wife and that the D'ni words she is saying can be translated as something like: "Is this thing on? My dear Gehn, I will love you for all eternity". Considering the woman in the Imager looks thirty-ish and Gehn looks almost seventy, it really makes you wonder: How old is this video? How many times has Gehn watched it during his thirty years of confinement in a lonely world? It almost makes you feel some sympathy for the despot he's become. You can also find his journal on his desk, where most of his writing is steady, self-assured descriptions of his nefarious plans, except for a single entry about his wife. It is extremely pale and shaky, ending in a smudge that suspiciously looks like a single tear. This really blows my mind: it's got to be the most understated tidbit of background information in a video game. How many games require you to have knowledge of an imaginary language to understand all the nuances of its story? And Riven is literally full of little things like these, which almost no one will ever notice. I feel for the Miller brothers since it must be frustrating. Maybe it's a bit like being the curator at the Louvres, who sees a new bunch of slack-jawed yokels walk around his museum every day, "oooing" and "aaahing" at the pretty sights for a while, without ever noticing anything about the deliberate use of colors, contrasts, lines or the different artistic movements and their place in history."

Ash kept trying to stand up to me, but he was absolutely bad at it; he couldnít even think of anything to argue back with.
"Alexa vs. Ash," an Anti-Ash Pokémon fanfiction.

Troi describes him as rogue, because simply telling the audience what Okona is supposed to be is much easier than making him actually act that way.

Conflicting experiences:
The first Ė and most apparent Ė kind is ludonarrative dissonance. What does that mean? Ludonarrative dissonance is when you watch a game cutscene where the hero laments his distancing relationship with his family, and then in the next moment, youíre driving a car over a hundred people. Ludonarrative dissonance is when a great warrior ally monologues about how cunning and fearsome he is, only in the next moment, heís running in circles, blocking your path annoyingly, and then gets shot dead instantly. Itís when what the story says and what the player does or experiences donít match up.
— Blogger hitboxteam on game design

The staging here is Garfield 101: an outlandish sight gag is the punchline to a story about bad behavior, but remains off-panel, and is presented to us only by the cast's shocked and/or laconic reaction. In this case, the un-sight gag is the destroyed sofa and the pet sitter's weightlifting performance. One school of cartooning understands this technique as a gyp, and the Garfield reader knows that half the joke is that we don't see the joke.

The two scenes, which precede the dialogue of the play, are not drawn in detail, but are merely a few lines and lights to show the steep snow-tipped Sierras, the trail, the silent California night, deep ravines, and cabins of the miners of '49 hid amongst the manzanitas and pines; in fact, the scene represents a little world by itself, drawn in a few crude strokes, to explain more than the author could tell in a thousand pages.

You see, the difficulty of Dark Souls is the single biggest narrative device the game has. You don't need to be told that you're a weak piece of trash. The game will let you know that. You don't need to be told that you're in a dying world: you're experiencing it. You don't need to be told that this boss is a badass and you should fear them, you'll be feeling it as battery acid pump through your veins while you helplessly flail about trying to avoid their attacks while also doing damage when they're near death, but so are you. You don't need to be told that this is a world with a cycle of pain and suffering and death with brief relief in success because that will be your life.

There's this woman with a wooden leg who also wants revenge on the same person. Even though her business seems booming, she says that he ruined her career. Literally, all they do is show a picture of her as a ballet dancer, and you get it. No tons of dialogue, no big explanation scenes, it's just one picture and boom, you understand.
The Nostalgia Critic on one of the (admittedly few) merits he found in The Lone Ranger

I only vaguely know what the story's about because I made myself read all that ancillary text-log bullshit. This is not good storytelling! You're supposed to weave exposition into the narrative, not hand the audience a fucking glossary as they walk into the theatre!

Donít tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
Anton Chekhov, abbreviated, but based on a letter sent to his brother.