Although I’m still writing to an empty room, I’ve found that it forces me to analyze what I’m reading and I’m learning a lot. On July 15th, the discussion forum for the July Selection, There are Little Kingdoms by Kevin Barry will open up. It’s a short story collection, so a great opportunity for easily digestible summer reading.
I plan on wrapping up the book club in September, if it doesn’t catch fire. If anything, I’m learning how to draw up a writer’s lesson plan. I’ll likely never return to college for an MFA or lit degree, so I’m going with the autodidact program.
I’ve chosen to read out of a variety of genres, but the August selection is special. It’s on a writing book, Understanding Show, Don’t Tell (and Really Getting It) by Janice Hardy. I’ve been mentoring another writer and show, don’t tell is one of those pieces of advice that is easier to explain with direct, written examples. For her benefit and mine, I’ve chosen to delve a little more into the subject.
Selection: Understanding Show, Don’t Tell (and Really Getting It) by Janice Hardy
Discussion Forum: August 15-31, 2018
Synopsis from Goodreads:
“Do you struggle with show, don’t tell? You don’t have to.
Award-winning author Janice Hardy (and founder of the popular writing site, Fiction University) takes you deep into one of the most frustrating aspects of writing–showing, and not telling. She’ll help you understand what show, don’t tell means, teach you how to spot told prose in your writing, and reveal why common advice on how to fix it doesn’t always work.
With in-depth analysis, Understanding Show, Don’t Tell (And Really Getting It) looks at what affects told prose and when telling is the right thing to do. It also explores aspects of writing that aren’t technically telling, but are connected to told prose and can make prose feel told, such as infodumps, description, and backstory.
Her easy-to-understand examples will show you clear before and after text and demonstrate how telling words change the prose. You’ll learn how to find the right balance between description, narrative, and internalization for the strongest impact. These examples will also demonstrate why showing the wrong details can sound just as dull as telling.
This book will help you:
Understand when to tell and when to show
Spot common red flag words often found in told prose
Learn why one single rule doesn’t apply to all books
Determine how much telling is acceptable in your writing
Fix stale or flat prose holding your writing back
Understanding Show, Don’t Tell (And Really Getting It) is more than just advice on what to do and what not to do—it’s a down and dirty examination and analysis of how show, don’t tell works, so you can adapt the “rules” to whatever style or genre you’re writing. By the end of this book, you’ll have a solid understanding of show, don’t tell and the ability to use it without fear or frustration.”