[Today we're reading Ch. 18 Whatever Causes the Action Better Be Up There On the Screen, from Aristotle's Poetics for Screenwriters, by Michael Tierno (2002).]
The phrase "SHOW, not TELL" often means that the writer is telling you what is happening rather than showing it.
ex. MAN: "I'm going to open a red wine. Then I will toss it in your face."
Most of us avoid this, so let's look at the next most frequent problem: What if you're SHOWING, but there's no story? What does that look like?
I saw a script that described the situation, but it was like reading a map.
ex. John turned to Judy. He shouted. She cowered.
The characters are obviously in conflict. We show that John is loud, and Judy is scared. But is this a story?
It is static scene & a story is a series of moving, connected scenes. If it does not push forward, it's dead weight.
WHAT I’VE LEARNED: SHOW, not TELL, & PUSH FORWARD.
[DISCLAIMER: I have not been asked, nor paid, to read or comment on this book.]