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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

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  116 Ratings  ·  15 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

Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 5th 2010 by Writer's Digest Books (first published April 7th 2010)
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Emma Sea
Oct 26, 2016 Emma Sea rated it it was amazing
I really loved this. The examples are wonderful, and I adored Alberts's short story, Russia is a Fish, in the appendix. I feel that all I can do is let the side down with my writing after Alberts's excellent instruction, but I shall do my best.
Apr 25, 2012 Rose rated it really liked it
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
Jul 24, 2013 Sylvia McIvers rated it it was ok
“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.
Scarlett West
May 24, 2016 Scarlett West rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and found it to be very informative. So many great tips with excellent, clear examples for how to write great scenes and summaries. Laurie Alberts Showing & Telling: Learn How to Show & When to Tell for Powerful & Balanced Writing gives clear, specific descriptions of how to tell the difference between showing and telling, and how to write each of them skillfully.

I especially enjoyed the section about summaries because the book gives a lot of i
Aug 17, 2011 TBV rated it liked it
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.
Kimberly [Come Hither Books]
Feb 12, 2012 Kimberly [Come Hither Books] rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing, 2012
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.
Jul 12, 2014 Gail rated it liked it
Shelves: unfinished
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).
Brenda Clark Thomas
Jun 21, 2016 Brenda Clark Thomas rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be helpful, especially where I was having some problems with choppy scenes. I think it would be invaluable for short story writers. This book was recommended to me from a Stanford short story class I had attended.
Kristena Tunstall
May 27, 2012 Kristena Tunstall rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 12, 2016 Darlene rated it really liked it
It's a reference book so I go back to different sections when I need to.
Oct 30, 2013 Lexie rated it really liked it
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
Jul 25, 2011 Thing Two rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 15, 2013 Lauren rated it really liked it
A very helpful guide to beginning fiction writing, but beware of nearly constant book and short story spoilers.
Izzy Thomas
Mar 09, 2015 Izzy Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative, something I'll refer to often at this stage.
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