writing advice show and tell

Unusual writing advice: Show and tell

You have probably heard the writing advice to “show, don’t tell.”

Most of the time, it’s good advice because showing keeps readers actively involved in the story, but showing isn’t always better than telling.

This blog post explains three situations in which you might want to TELL instead of SHOW.

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What to do After Finishing the First Draft of your Novel

What to Do After Finishing the First Draft of Your Novel

I know once you finish your novel and type “the end,” you are probably either sick of the story and just want it off your desk or you are eager to get it into the hands of your editor and, eventually, your readers. But after finishing your first draft, that’s …

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How to structure paragraphs

How to Structure Paragraphs in Your Novel

Today, I’d like to talk about something few writers ever seem to think about: paragraphs. Most authors start new paragraphs completely by instinct instead of making conscious choices, and that usually wastes a lot of potential and can even lead to confusing readers. Often, authors don’t seem to know where …

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telling writing

10 red flags for telling in your writing

We have all heard the advice to show, don’t tell in our writing. But how do you know you’re telling?   10 red flags that indicate telling 1) Conclusions If you give your readers conclusions, you are telling. To show, provide them with enough action, body language, and dialogue so they …

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overused body language writing

How to avoid overused body language in your writing

Human communication is mostly nonverbal, so it makes sense to use plenty of body language, gestures, and facial expressions in our writing. Showing your characters’ emotions through their body language is also a wonderful way to avoid telling (More about showing vs. telling here). Instead of saying she was nervous, …

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types of editing and proofreading

The 3 different types of editing

In my last blog post, I explained why every writer needs an editor. But actually, you might need even more than one editor. There are different types of editing, and they are all very different skill sets, so it’s rare that one person can do all types of editing—and do …

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why you need an editor

Why do you need an editor?

Editing is expensive, so some self-published authors and some small publishers try to cut costs by skipping the editing. Needless to say that’s a really bad idea. Why? After spending months or even years writing a story, you’re too close to it. You’re so familiar with the story that you …

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