Sandra Gerth - author of the Writers' Guide Series

Show, Don’t Tell

(Writers’ Guide Series Book 3)

How to write vivid descriptions, handle backstory, and describe your characters’ emotions

Show, don’t tell is probably the single most-important piece of advice given to writers. But many writers struggle to understand this powerful principle or have difficulty applying it to their own work. Even experienced authors sometimes don’t grasp the finer nuances of showing and telling.

In this book, Sandra Gerth draws on her experience as an editor and a best-selling author to show you how to show and tell you when to tell. Each chapter includes concrete examples and exercises that will hone your writing skills.

Whether you’re a novice writer working on your first story or an established author who has already learned the basics of showing and telling, this book will help you to:

  • Grasp the difference between showing and telling,
  • Understand why showing is such a powerful tool,
  • Spot telling in your own manuscript,
  • Fix bland passages and turn them into compelling scenes,
  • Keep from telling what you have already shown,
  • Avoid the three danger areas of telling,
  • Describe your characters and your setting in interesting ways,
  • Put powerful emotions into your writing,
  • Incorporate backstory into your novel without resorting to telling,
  • Recognize telling in dialogue,
  • Avoid overshowing and swamping your readers with too many details,
  • Learn when telling is actually a good thing,
  • Immerse your readers into your story and keep them captivated from beginning to end


RM Harrington Book Review
“From time to time, I run across the perfect addition to my writer’s toolbox. Show, don’t Tell made the grade. This book on how to write vivid descriptions is a major keeper.”

Writing in Slices
“Gerth shows writers how to fix their own prose, giving the exercises an immediacy that is extremely useful. … SHOW, DON’T TELL is the perfect guide for this essential writing skill.”

✦ ✦ ✦

Additional download
Exercises for your showing skills