Showing & Telling: Learn How to Show & When to Tell for Powerful & Balanced Writing

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Writer's Digest Books, May 5, 2010 - Reference - 256 pages
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Write vibrant scenes and essential summaries

"Show—don't tell." How many times have you heard this standard bit of writing advice? It's so common in writing courses and critiques that it has become a cliche. Writers are often told to write scenes, dramatize, cut exposition, cut summary—but it's misguided advice. The truth is good writing almost always requires both showing and telling. The trick is finding the right balance of scene and summary—the two basic components of creative prose.

Showing and Telling shows you how to employ each of these essential techniques in the appropriate places within a narrative. You'll learn how to: Write scenes and cut exposition Compress time and summarize background information Create graceful transitions Effectively inject interpretation And more! Complete with examples from bestsellers and interactive exercises, this comprehensive guide offers an in-depth look at scene development, the role of reflection in storytelling, the art of summarizing, and how to bring it all together.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Section One Making Vibrant Scenes
5
Section Two Creating Essential Summaries
94
Section Three Combining Scene and Summary
162
Russia Is a Fish
211
Works Cited
243
Index
246
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About the author (2010)

Laurie Alberts is the author of six books including three novels: The Price of Land in Shelby, Lost Daughters, and Tempting Fate. Her work has won several awards, including a James Michener Award. She teaches fiction and creative nonfiction in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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