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Thursday, January 1

Show vs. Tell

One of the most frustrating "rules" in writing has got to be show, don't tell. Told prose can feel explained and flat, while shown prose pulls the reader into the story. Here are some articles that explain how to find told prose and what to do to fix it in your own work.

A sampling of articles on show vs. tell

See all articles on show vs. tell


  1. I am sometimes have a problem with show and tell for the characters like the scene or the feelings.

  2. Janice, great job on Show vs. Tell. I come from years of nonfiction and tech writing so I needed deep help on being coy with readers and trusting them rather than laying out the facts in full detail and sharp clarity. I wasn't really even good at seeing tells in my own attempts with fiction. Your depth was not overboard for me because I got so good at telling that showing was like a tricycle for a 3 year old. So thanks. I feel a lot better about it now. Think I'll have a look at my WIP now and try to find some tells I can fix... So glad I found your site. I need to look at POV and Voice as well because they figure in so importantly with show/tell. Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks! I'm glad it worked for you and was able to help.

  3. Now the tells jump out at me and I can use their correction as opportunities to enhance and extend the story as I convert them into dramatization. Maybe this novella I'm working on will grow up and become a novel.