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Showing vs. Telling: The Power of Context

Man's head down on a table with text: Sleepy? Or Depressed? Showing Needs Context

The implication of the advice to “show, don’t tell” is that showing is “better” than telling when our story actually needs both. Let’s explore what “show, don’t tell” really means when it comes to storytelling.

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August 16, 2018

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Beyond Visuals: How to “Show” with Other Senses

Two women walking blindfolded with text: Beyond the Limits of Visual Cues

The word showing obviously makes us think visually, but same as us, our characters experience the world through more than just their visual sense. What are our options for showing beyond visual descriptions? Can we create a deeper world by engaging other senses?

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August 14, 2018

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Showing vs. Telling: Don’t Assume Showing Is Better

Stacks of Lego blocks with text: Worldbuilding: When Telling Is Required

In the writing world, we often hear the advice to “show, don’t tell.” I’ve mentioned before that telling isn’t bad or something to be avoided at all costs, and a fantastic post by Cecilia Tan points out how the advice can actually be harmful.

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August 9, 2018

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Genre -Is- Worldbuilding

Blueprint of a house with text: Building Our Story World with Genre

An article comparing the Arrival movie to its short story inspiration triggered me to see Genre differently. In short, our story’s genre is simply the worldbuilding “lens” we use to explore our story’s meaning.

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October 10, 2017

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Sexy Scenes: Open Door or Closed Door?

Ladybugs mating on a flower with text: How Much Intimacy Should We Show?

There’s no right or wrong answer for how to depict intimacy in our writing—only what’s right for our story. The “right” amount can depend on our genre, our characters, their situation, their emotional journey, and our target audience.

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September 28, 2017

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One Simple Trick to Avoid an Opening Page Infodump

No dumping sign with text: Warning: No Dumping on Page One

It’s hard to get our opening pages just right because we have to grab readers’ attention, introduce our characters and the story world, hint at a problem, etc. With everything we want to get across to the reader, we might dump too much information. How can we avoid info dumping or confusing readers at the beginning of our story?

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July 4, 2017

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