I find it interesting that I see alot of telling in first time writers. Granted, writing is a skill that is learned, and something like music and art that must be practiced to become good at it. Could that be why begining writers so often fall into the pattern of telling me what the main character is doing instead of immersing me into the story by showing? I know when I started to write, I wrote alot of telling interspersed with a ton of unnecessary detail.
As I have learned to write, I have learned to move beyond telling my reader what happened. I have learned to drag my reader gasping and choking into the scene and have them experience it in a similar way to what I see in my head.
I wonder if the increase of watching TV, playing games, whether on a game system or online, or perusing the internet at all is part of the reason. When we sit and watch something on TV we see and hear everything that is going on leaving out the other three senses. Everything the prodoucer/director wants us to see is on that screen and in the soundtrack. TV can be, regardless of the intense visual/audio bombardment, a one dimentional system of input.
It has been proven that as we watch TV part of our brain shuts off and we can become zombie like. Whereas, reading opens up a diferent world in our minds. In a book with good writing, description, and showing we engage all of our senses by using our imagination. We hear internal thought as well as dialogue, we smell scents that are described, we hear, feel, smell, see and taste what the writer wants us to. We are drawn into the setting and experience it to the fullness we choose inside our heads.
As the rate of electronic entertainment increases and the occurance of reading decreases, are we setting ourselves up for a world of sitting back and just watching life go by instead of experiencing it to its fullness?