Sunday, March 20, 2011

A great link that suggests, "Tell, Don't Show"

I really enjoyed this post called Tell, Don't Show from Cristin Terrill on Incidents and Accidents. It discusses why it's a good thing to tell sometimes, particularly if you handle it right. I hope you enjoy it too.


  1. I'm coming to believe that learning when to show and when to tell is one of the hardest lessons in writing, and it lives at the heart of nearly every other lesson. Character, setting, even PoV -- all these things hinge on the author's ability to separate telling from showing and do the right one in the right circumstance.

    It frustrates me now when I hear writers and writing lecturers throw out "Show don't tell" because that's really only half the lesson. Especially in speculative fiction. Sometimes, you really really have to tell. The key is to figure out when that is.

  2. Yes, I agree, Barbara. It's a hard balance, and the usual three-word phrase of advice doesn't begin to cover it.