“Show don’t tell” is certainly more important for literary fiction than genre fiction like fantasy, but if you read really good writers like George RR Martin you’ll see they do very little telling. Still, I think we overuse the saying “show don’t tell.” It’s all about creating drama right? What “telling” usually does is that it removes all the drama, but if you can tell without oversharing, you should be fine. And after all, often showing ruins the story as much or more than telling!
In an Udippi, the water is right there. On every table. Mostly in a steel glass. Take a sip and you’re glass is instantly refilled. You can even share a table with a stranger.
Unlike the hi-fi restaurant, the menu here is more like a familiar neighbour. Even the most bizarre sounding dosa won’t startle you when it arrives. You’ll get your order within minutes. And soon before you take your last bite and burp, your bill arrives. So you’re spared the trouble of calling for a cheque, which in here would still mean a piece of paper used for banking transactions.
Faith and Meredith, I sometimes struggle with that myself. Some writers have access to a near endless well of specific detail in setting–a natural gift that can bring any location to life. But we’re all stronger in some areas of writing than others–we all have our weaknesses–and one of the ways to account for *not* having access to that well is to focus on just a small number of clear, specific details. For example, you might note that there’s a tear in the yellow wallpaper on the far wall. This doesn’t convey to readers every single aspect of the room, but it provides enough of a clear visual hook to make the place feel real–for readers for sure, and maybe for you as well.