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Mastering Showing and Telling in Your…
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Mastering Showing and Telling in Your Fiction (Busy Writer's Guides)…

by Marcy Kennedy

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This book is very helpful, with direct and goal oriented tips for finding balance between showing and telling in your writing. I will use it while revising my first draft and I definitely recommend it. ( )
  Leticia.Toraci | Feb 10, 2016 |
I finished reading Showing and Telling in Fiction by by Marcy Kennedy a month ago, and have been meaning to review this excellent how-to guide since I put it down. Eliminating 'telling' is an issue I needed a lot of help with to fully understand and overcome in my own writing, and this book has helped set me in the right direction. In a nutshell, the classic argument states that writing that shows the reader what is happening is more compelling, engaging, and descriptive than writing that tells the reader what is happening (or has already happened).

Showing and Telling in Fiction begins by clearly explaining what defines showing and telling, the differences between them, and why showing is (usually) the preferred choice for exciting, engaging prose. If you like to know the reason behind the rule, you'll find this part satisfying.

Understanding the differences between showing and telling is just the first step in addressing the problem. Chapter Two provides practical techniques to easily spot weak writing in your own manuscript. By identifying the 'red flags' of telling, the book teaches you to recognize the signs in your manuscript.

Kennedy states that using telling to write your first draft may help you capture your story, which can then be edited in the ensuing drafts to turn telling sections into showing. If you're struggling to write your draft by 'showing' everything, using 'telling' to get the words out of your head may be a useful technique.

Obviously, writing that is 100% showing is not the goal of this book. In certain situations, telling can be more effective and appropriate than showing. Chapter Four shows you opportunities for using telling effectively to make your story flow cohesively.

An apt finish to Showing and Telling in Fiction provides you methods to attack your manuscript efficiently, and offers a link to print versions of the revision checklists.

In summary, this concise (88 pages) instructional tome is full of examples and techniques, light on fluff and filler, and currently has a 4.8 star rating on Amazon (48 reviews). I'd definitely recommend this book if you struggle with any part of the showing versus telling battle. ( )
  CMSkiera | Jan 26, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0992037166, Paperback)

You've heard the advice "show, don't tell" until you can't stand to hear it anymore. Yet fiction writers of all levels still seem to struggle with it. There are three reasons for this. The first is that this isn't an absolute rule. Telling isn't always wrong. The second is that we lack a clear way of understanding the difference between showing and telling. The third is that we're told "show, don't tell," but we're often left without practical ways to know how and when to do that, and how and when not to.

So that's what this book is about.

Chapter One
defines showing and telling and explains why showing is normally better. Chapter Two gives you eight practical ways to find telling that needs to be changed to showing and guides you in understanding how to make those changes.
Chapter Three explains how telling can function as a useful first draft tool.
Chapter Four goes in-depth on the seven situations when telling might be the better choice than showing.
Chapter Five
provides you with practical editing tips to help you take what you've learned to the pages of your current novel or short story.

Mastering Showing and Telling in Your Fiction also includes three appendices covering how to use The Emotion Thesaurus, dissecting an example so you can see the concepts of showing vs. telling in action, and explaining the closely related topic of As-You-Know-Bob Syndrome.

Each book in the Busy Writer's Guides series is intended to give you enough theory so that you can understand why things work and why they don't, but also enough examples to see how that theory looks in practice. In addition, they provide tips and exercises to help you take it to the pages of your own story with an editor's-eye view. Most importantly, they cut the fluff so you have more time to write and to live your life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:42 -0400)

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