Show v Tell Redux

by | Nov 20, 2019

Show V Tell has been my struggle since I started writing kidlit. Strong verbs come naturally to me. Organization? No problemo. But over and over and over again, in critique after critique, I hear that I am telling when I should be showing. Even when I think I have it figured out, I still hear that I need it to “be more narrative,” etc etc. But I think A. LaFaye, in this blog post from GoodReads is speaking to me. Her point is that this is a false binary, like so many in our lives. And that there are many ways to tell a story. The techniques are on a continuum rather than being binary.

What does this mean for my writing? It means that I am not telling the story in a dramatic enough fashion. It may be about showing, but it also might just be about my style. Too removed? The reader doesn’t care about the characters? Because I write non-fiction, I worry about taking over the story. I worry about beating the reader over the head with how amazing or challenging or exciting my subject’s actions are. Perhaps today, I’ll let myself get carried away. Perhaps, if I do that, I’ll land in clover. I’m at least ready to try!

Meanwhile, read this blog post by A. LaFaye and let me know what you think!

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