Lesson 12: Choosing to Tell Rather than Show

Writing Exercise

When Thorin comes to Lake Town, he is both a bedraggled, waterlogged dwarf and a figure of legend: “Thorin Son of Thrain Son of Thror, King Under the Mountain.” Some interesting things happen as the people of Lake Town try to make sense of that contrast. 

For this lesson’s writing exercise, let’s play with that contrast and see what happens. Write a scene in which a “figure of legend” makes an appearance in real life. Feel free to define “figure of legend” as loosely as you like: King Arthur, an old sports star, Lady Godiva, Al Capone, Athena, Santa Claus, Taylor Swift…the main point is to write a story in which the reality of this “legend’s” life creates some interesting contrast with the legend that the other characters (and perhaps the reader) have already heard.