Posted by: nancyisanders | June 26, 2014

Self-Editing Tips: Show, Don’t Tell

The fourth and final item on our self-editing checklist under the category of Creative Nonfiction Techniques is to make sure we remember to “show, don’t tell” by using key anecdotes to replace narrative.

There is a delicate balance to the amount of narrative and anecdotal writing we incorporate into our writing…especially because we are writing for kids. Too much narrative and our story will be boring and will sound like an encyclopedia entry rather than a story. Too many anecdotes and our manuscript will burst the seams with too high of a word count and could even be classified as overwritten.

If you’ve ever had your work critiqued and gotten feedback to “show, don’t tell” you may know it’s one of those weak areas of yours that you need to work on.

But what exactly does this mean?

Basically, it means to create a scene, even a short scene, that incorporates elements such as dialogue and action, so that the reader can see what’s happening in 3-D technicolor instead of just being told that it happened.

If you have trouble doing this, then I’d like to invite you to join me on July 10 at 2:00 when I’m teaching a tele class at the Working Writer’s Club on “Show, Don’t Tell.”

More information coming soon on how to sign up and join!

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