Show don’t tell: Dissecting what it looks like

woman with megaphone, show don't tellShow don’t tell.

Does this piece of advice kink you up in knots? Writers hear it all the time from various angles—other writers, editors, and conference workshop instructors.

When I first starting writing, I struggled with it, too. Too many of the blog posts I read only talked about it and never showed any examples. Sample sentences go a long way in helping me recognize mistakes in my writing.

In a recent webinar Q&A, attendees expressed their difficulties with show don’t tell. So today, I’m offering several examples and some explanations that I hope will help you get untied.

Kudos to my client Donna Wittlif who has allowed me to use 2 excerpts from her WIP as illustrations. [Read more…]

Telling vs. Showing, an Explanation

Writers often hear “show us, don’t tell us” in one variation or another. But what does it really mean to show rather than tell?

Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary gives the definition of tell as “to relate in detail: narrate, recount,” and show as “to cause or permit to be seen.” As writers, we do both these things.

But as storytellers we must [Read more…]

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