I've recently learned some new writing techniques. Every time I learn something new I get a bit obsessive about it until I feel I fully understand it, and I don't fully understand yet. "Show don't tell" is a new idea to me. It's probably not new to a lot of the people on this forum which is why I'm starting this thread. I'm hoping you can help me understand this concept. Here is what I understand, or what I think I understand, and my thoughts around it so far: Show don't tell is advice meant to help new writers describe the scenes in their stories better. Telling someone the story makes the readers feel like they're looking in, and they aren't really there. Showing them the story makes the reader feel like they're right there. For instance: "He could smell the cookies in the kitchen." You're telling. "The scent of fresh baked cookies wafted through the house." You're showing. Am I on track so far? And if I am, why is it called showing? Shouldn't it be called "being" or something similar. You're actually there feeling what the characters feel, smelling what the characters smell, etc? To me, the words "showing" and "telling" are almost the same. Onto filters. What I understand, or think I understand, so far about filters are that they are almost like cheat words. They allow a writer to be lazy, like in my above example where I used the word "smell" instead of going into detail about the smell. Saying how a character felt something instead of describing how it felt, etc. Saying what a character thought instead of describing a scene so that the reader could come to the same thought without the writer ever having to say that's what the character "thought." "Unpacking" I believe is the term Chuck Palahniuk used in some of the essays of his that I read. So instead of saying, "He thought it would rain," you could take away the filter word, unpack it, and write something like, "The clouds above were dark, the air..." and so forth to describe the coming rain and make the reader feel present. The readers are also thinking for themselves and not just being told what the character thinks. Am I correct so far? If so, can you expand on this because I know I'm only understanding this on the most basic level right now, as you can probably tell from my very simple examples. Can you list any more filters that I should try to avoid? Also, if I "unpack" everything, aren't I wasting time and getting away from the central plot? Also what are your opinions on these techniques? Should they be thought of as gospel? Or do you prefer to find a balance between "showing" and "telling?"