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SHOWING & TELLING covers absolutely everything necessary for teaching both fiction & CNF, and students take in a huge amount of skills that help them in their understanding in reading literature as well as writing it, including the use of themes, when to use summary and when to use exposition, how to deal with time changes, and much more. Interestingly, when I get to the poetry segment of the course, there is already a strong foundation in most of what they need to know, such as using abstract language (telling) and concrete images (showing), making sure word or other choices do "double duty," finding a voice or point of view, and composing the arc of the piece. It's great to find a book that does most of the work for me.
-- Alice Fogel, Poet Laureate of New Hampshire




"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