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Showing & Telling With Amy Ruttan and Giveaway!

 Author Amy Ruttan talking to us about Showing and Telling in Fiction Writing. There is a print signed copy of PREGNANT WITH THE SOLDIER'S SON  for one commenter. Open International.

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Over to Amy now...



When I was a new writer the difference between showing and telling made me scratch my head. Now years later, I get it and I’ll try to eloquently share what I know about it.

 

Showing a reader something over telling them is a skill that if you master, will just intensify your fiction writing.

 

I’m not saying telling is wrong, because it has its place.

 

It’s hard. Trust me. We’ve all been there, but to really immerse your reader in your characters world they have to be able to experience the story and not just have it told to them.

 

Think about your most recent read? Was it one you loved? Was it the kind you couldn’t put down? Was it a world you just couldn’t get enough?

 

When I read a book I want to taste, smell, experience the story and I also want it told.

 

Here are some examples of show vs. tell:

 

The apple in his hand was green. It tasted tart.

 

When he took a bit of the apple’s green flesh he was surprised by the sour, but still enjoyed the tartness which flooded his senses.

 

Or

 

She was a doctor with blonde hair, blue eyes. She was wearing blue scrubs. He thought she was beautiful.

 

Her lab coat was pristine and against the blue scrubs, it was a brilliant white. She tucked a long strand of blonde hair behind her head as she concentrated on the chart in her slender hands. When their gaze met, he was stunned by the intensity of her eyes. They took his breath away and his pulse beat faster. He couldn’t help but imagine running his fingers through her silky locks, kissing those moist lips until those icy blue eyes were glazed over in passion.

 

Showing often ends up longer than telling, but it’s about evoking a feeling for the reader. Telling has its place too in narration and the trick is to find the balance.

 

The whole rule of show doesn’t tell is a rule that can be bent, because writing doesn’t have hard fast rules.

 

Telling comes in to play when you’re narrating for example:

 

They gathered all their materials together.

 

The key to showing and telling is to strike the balance and evoke as much emotion as you can out of your story, because that will help solidify and help your reader care and connect with your writing.

 

And of course, always learn and grow as a writer. Never stop learning, that’s the key to a successful career.




When "living a little"…
While celebrating her promotion, the last thing strait-laced orthopedic surgeon Ingrid Walton expects is to be seduced by mysterious dashing soldier and army medic Clint Allen. Especially when there are consequences to their passionate night!
…becomes "living for two"!
Seven months later Ingrid comes face-to-face with the father of her unborn baby…now the new trauma surgeon! But Clint has changed—his last tour of duty has left emotional scars. Can sharing their baby, their work and an undeniable chemistry give them a chance to heal their pasts and enjoy the future…together?

Read REVIEWS

BUY LINKS:

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There is a print signed copy of PREGNANT WITH THE SOLDIER'S SON  for one commenter. Open International.

37 comments:

  1. Great examples of show & tell, Amy. You're absolutely right - there's a time and place for both showing and telling, and showing can help make the writing more powerful. Thanks! :)

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    1. You're welcome, Lexa! Thanks for visiting.

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  2. Wonderful examples. It is better to show versus tell, but having a balance between the two is also good. :)

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  3. Nice! Examples always 'show' so much better! :)

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  4. Good examples. I've got a post coming up on this as well in a week or so, because I've noticed a pattern in my writing as I revise where I do most of my telling. And, yes, you have to do both or the story would be twice as long by the time you were done showing everything. :)

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    1. Exactly, LG it's a balancing act for sure!

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  5. I completely agree on the never stop learning! Finding that right balance between showing/telling is something I learn over again with each book :)

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  6. Showing does take longer to express, but it's so worth it to bring a story alive.

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  7. Perfect examples. Loved this post. You know what's funny? When I first started writing, I actually googled "Show not Tell" because I had no idea what it meant, LOL!

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    1. LOL me too, Morgan! I googled it when I started seriously writing.

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  8. I love description that makes me go back and read it again, just to immerse myself in the words. That is what showing is. As you say "When I read a book I want to taste, smell, experience the story and I also want it told."

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  9. I appreciate these examples of showing versus telling. I agree, it is easier said than done, but it is worth it. Never stop learning - what great advice!

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    1. It is worth it. If you stop learning your craft you'll never grow. :)

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  10. Those are really good examples of showing and not telling. What a difference between the two!

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  11. I agree that showing does take longer than telling, but you get better results every time.

    A straight-laced female who ends up pregnant? That's gotta make interesting reading.

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  12. Amanda Gardner3 July 2014 at 16:51

    Interesting examples, Amy!

    PREGNANT WITH THE SOLDIER'S SON sounds really interesting from the prologue and first chapter that I have read (Amazon and Harlequin)

    ang_1985 (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  13. This is fantastic information, Amy. I agree... showing can be really hard. It definitely takes practice, but the stories are so much better when the writer knows how to "show!"
    Congrats on your book! It sounds wonderful.

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  14. Great advice, because the difference is not always as easy as it seems. Somehow we all have a tendency of doing it the wrong way.

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  15. Great examples! and thanks for the giveaway :)
    celesc23@gmail.com

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  16. Great examples of show vs tell! Funny, that's just what I commented on on your other guest post :-)

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  17. Amy did a great job of showing, not telling me, why I would want to read her exciting new book. Great post!

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  18. Good post. I work hard not to tell too much, but authors like Koontz get away with it in every book. Definitely makes writing easier...

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  19. Great examples. I love it when details are brought to life through showing.

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  20. Thanks for the details on showing vs telling. Good examples. And this book looks interesting! Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting!

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  21. Great thoughts. I remember when I first tried to explain to my mom that I was creating a literary experience rather than just putting words on paper. She didn't get it. Not initially. Then she read the prose encompassing all 5 senses, and there was an "aha" moment. =) It's definitely an art, eh?

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  22. Sounds like a great reading. I like this post a lot too!

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  23. Wonderful examples of telling and showing! There is a place for both, but the key is finding the right balance.

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  24. Great examples of show don't tell. Something I continue to work on. Writing is a process that keeps us learning and growing. :)

    Wishing Amy the best of luck!

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