Saturday, March 12, 2011

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

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

Author: Luarie Alberts

Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books

RRP: $19.99

ISBN: 9781582977058

Release Date: 2010

Available from


"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 cliché. 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.

Includes an analysis of the short story "Russia Is a Fish" by Laurie Alberts, award-winning author of The Price of Land in Shelby, Lost Daughters, and Tempting Fate

About the Author

Laurie Alberts is the author of 6 books including 3 novels: The Price of Land in Shelby, Lost Daughters and Tempting Fate. She has won several awards, including a Jame Michener Award. She teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.


Showing & Telling: Learn How to Show & When to Tell for Powerful & Balanced Writing is a book about the one topic most new writers often hear about, Show Don’t Tell. While the experience writer will probably be there, here we go, another book on writing, the newbie will no doubt pick up some great skills to hone their craft and become far better writers.

There are some great pointers on how to craft a good story using the techniques of both showing and telling, breaking the rules that you often hear when starting out writing. The author has also included a short story at the end of the book to give an example of the apply these techniques.

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