Have you ever received feedback on your manuscript along the lines of “I couldn’t connect with the characters” or “I just wasn’t that engaged”? Ouch! When readers make comments like these, the underlying problem is often that we haven’t struck the right balance of showing and telling. We’ve all heard the advice “show, don’t tell,” but what exactly does this mean? What does “showing” entail? And isn’t it okay to “tell” sometimes? In this presentation, we’ll unpack what it means to “show, not tell,” learn when is the best time to do each, and then complete some exercises to practice doing both so we can engage our readers from the very first sentence.
Tara Gilboy is the author of two novels, Unwritten, which won the 2020 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for middle grade fantasy, and its sequel, Rewritten. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and teaches for San Diego College of Continuing Education. You can find out more about her (and how to work with her on your novel!) on her website at http://taragilboy.com/
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