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Four Ways to Plan Showing Vs. Telling in Your Novel

A Writer's Path

by Andrea Lundgren

As writers, we’ve been told over and over how it’s much better to show a reader something rather than tell them, and recently, I wrote about how one can use dance to show a character’s thoughts and how she changes.

As a general rule, showing means giving the reader details: letting them see what the characters are seeing, hear what they’re hearing, and be “along for the ride” for whatever they’re doing.

It can be overdone, of course. Giving us every detail as they cross the room, sit somewhere and wait, wash their dishes or eat their food would probably be overkill, as the details would bog down most plots, but in general, letting us have a front-row-seat is favored over having the narrator tell us what happened, how they matured, or what they’re like.

But how do you make a story that gives you opportunities to…

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