Show - Don't Tell

Develop an interesting story from the picture below using the six senses

We all understand the importance of “show, don’t tell” in creating interesting stories that grab the reader’s attention. Telling is summarizing. It gives the readers the bare facts, with little to no illustration. Showing is elaborating. It gives the readers the details of a scene, including what the character(s) are seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, thinking, and feeling emotionally.

Use the picture at the bottom of this page for the basis of your story. (300-600 words)


The Blind Date

My thumbs are a blur as I respond to Trish’s text message. “Great! 7:00 Friday - Fireside Grill. How will I recognize U?” I tap ‘Send’ and my thumbs beat out the drum solo in “Wipeout” on the glass of my phone as I wait for her response.

Seconds later, a beep draws my attention back to the screen. “Look 4 person wearing hat.”

I stare at the message and wonder what Trish means. A hat? I envision a Tennessee Vols’ hat or maybe a Titan’s hat. “OK.- C U then.”

I notice my palms are sweaty as I slide the phone back into my pocket. Who wears a ball cap on a first date? I take two quick puffs on my cigarette knowing it will be another two hours before my next smoke; crush it out on the sidewalk, then walk back into the office building. At least I know she’s into sports.

My buddy, Trae, leans over my cubicle wall when I return to my desk. “Well, how did it go? Are you two going out?”

“Yup, we’re all set for Friday.” I nod my head and smile. “I also found out she’s into sports. If this works out maybe she’ll go with me to the tailgate party and game next Saturday in Knoxville.”

Trae raises his hands with the palms facing towards me. “Hold on, Bobby. You don’t even know what she looks like. If I were you ...”

I shake my head as I log back into the order-entry system. “Get off it, man. Blind date or not, I’ve got a good feeling about this one. Anybody who likes football deserves a chance.”


Friday afternoon finally arrives and before I leave work I text Trish one more time. “Still on 4 7?”

Seconds later she responds, “C U @ 7.” I pocket my phone and glide out of the building.

I planned to arrive at the Fireside early, but an accident on I-75 has traffic backed up for miles. With each minutes that passes , another sweat bead forms on my forehead. Great! First date and I’m late.

I pull into the parking lot at 7:03. After stepping out of my truck, I pull up my pants, spit out my gum, and check my breath. Here goes nothing.

When I open the door to the restaurant, all I can see is a mob of people. I can’t even step inside. I take a deep breath and tap the shoulder of the man in front me. “Excuse me, please.” I slip left, then slide right–making my way through the crowd. Why did I have to pick this place? A mixture of perfumes and colognes assault my senses. “Excuse me, please, I need to get by.” It takes several minutes to worm my way to the bar. 

I stand on my tiptoes to scan the heads waiting to be seated. I know somewhere in here is a cute blonde wearing a UT ball cap. But, there isn’t anyone wearing a hat ... except … for the redhead … wearing a butt-ugly black Fedora that has a gigantic red flower, a green ribbon hatband, and black feathers that torture the couple standing behind her.

“I need a drink!"