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Showing & Telling: Learn How to Show & When to Tell for Powerful & Balanced Writing
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Showing & Telling: Learn How to Show & When to Tell for Powerful & Balanced Writing

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  87 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Write vibrant scenes and essential summaries


"Show-don't tell." How many times have you heard this standard bit of writing advice? It's so common in writing courses and critiques that it has become a clich?. Writers are often told to write scenes, dramatize, cut exposition, cut summary-but it's misguided advice. The truth is good writing almost always requires both showing

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Paperback, 250 pages
Published May 5th 2010 by Writer's Digest Books (first published April 7th 2010)
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Rose
I liked this writing guide on showing versus telling quite a bit, and it's a book that I will likely return to in the future for some of the things I was able to gain from it. I would say it's more beginner to intermediate level in terms of writing advice, but I think those who would want a quick refresher would find this helpful. The guide is broken into two main sections - relying on the distinction of "showing" versus "telling" by explaining the different functions of scenes and summaries and ...more
Sylvia McIvers
“Show don’t tell” is a familiar adage to many writers, beginners or experienced. Laurie Alberts is here to explain what each term means and when ‘telling’ is actually the more effective course of action. The book has a lot of useful information for writers, with many examples.

First, Ms. Alberts describes scenes, in which things happen. She brings many examples from a wide variety of books where showing was done well, then analyzes how supporting details worked to draw the reader into the story.
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Kimberly [Come Hither Books]
A useful focused writing book that explores its topic in depth, including interesting examples and exercises. Sometimes it was a little basic, but it serves as a well organized review and reminder of the things I already knew but sometimes forget. Plus, it sent me off scribbling after ideas several times and that counts for a lot. I will most likely be adding it to my reference shelf in future.
TBV
Too basic for me but good for a new writer or an undergrad lit student. The book covers the basics of showing (via description, characters, literary devices, etc.) and telling (narrative, etc.). Too often the literary community sacrifices one over the other. This book details how a good balance can be struck.
Gail
Made it about three-fourths through this one over the course of the fall; it was a solid text on the subject but I need to go back through the pages I've highlighted to remember all that I gleaned from it (and why I failed to finish it).
Lexie
This book was good. It's a step up in terms of intellectuality from a book like Plot and Structure. It takes a little more brain power but it's another good book on writing. I'm glad to have read it.
Thing Two
Aug 16, 2014 Thing Two rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Thing Two by: Vermont
Excellent! I've underlined the whole book. Definitely keeping this for reference. Lots of how-to's, lots of explanations, with a few writing prompts. This woman knows her stuff.
Kristena Tunstall
I think it was a great book on teaching what the difference is between showing and telling. As a new writer this was invaluable information.
Lauren
A very helpful guide to beginning fiction writing, but beware of nearly constant book and short story spoilers.
Izzy Thomas
Very informative, something I'll refer to often at this stage.
Pat
Good reference book for novice writer.
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