Show Don’t Tell

As a Creative Writing student, I hear the words ‘Show Don’t Tell’ fairly often. Now to be honest, it is a writing rule with some merit to it, after all “She told him she hated him. He didn’t like this, it made him sad. He told her how he felt, then he left” isn’t a very dramatic piece of writing, whereas if shown to a reader through words, it would probably be far better.
    However, it seems to me that, for some, ‘show don’t tell’ is an absolute and the only rule needed to be followed in order to be a good writer. Indeed, sometimes a single instance of a writer telling a reader, will not slip passed the show don’t tell radars.
    But frankly, I disagree with this rule. There are NO objective rules to art (in my opinion) and so I think it’s wrong to tell people that always doing one thing will make their work good. Sometimes I like to be told rather than shown, for example, sometimes I’ll enjoy a little paragraph describing a character so that I can picture them better. Besides all that, several famous classical writers tell us rather than show us too, are they wrong to do so? Have we now learned how to write ‘properly’ and they didn’t know? I’m worried that this entry might sound a little bitter, and I don’t intend it too, but I just wanted to share my distaste in the rule. After all, when show don’t tell is used alone, we find ourselves with very vague and unenjoyable pieces of work!
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