Editing Tip Tuesday

imageWriters hear all the time, “show don’t tell.” I think that’s one of the hardest things to do in a novel. Besides writing a strong beginning, setting, and a hundred other things required in a well written manuscript.

But last time I said we’d touch on show vs tell. I try to stay true to my word.

What’s my tip going to be? How do I help you become the best show-er out there? Practice. That’s probably not what you wanted to hear. Do a lot of reading too. You can learn from other authors by what they do well and what they don’t.

I will use a quote from Robert McKee’s book Story. Mr. McKee is an award-winning screenwriting teacher for more than twenty years. “Make exposition invisible. Never force words into a character’s mouth to tell the audience about world, history or person.” In other words, don’t tell the reader what he/she already knows. Use exposition to further the conflict in the story. Don’t give anything away too soon. Withhold information. Let the reader figure things out for themselves. That’s showing.

Do you struggle with show vs tell? Let me know. I’d love to help.



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