3 Tips to Locate “Telling” Writing by C.D. Hersh

people talking courtesy of Wikimedia commons

We’ve all heard the admonition “Show, don’t tell.” When we show we are producing better writing that will capture our readers. Showing, instead of telling, lets editors and agents see you are not an amateur.

In spite of hearing the phrase over and over, many writers don’t know how to recognize “telling” writing. Writing that tells analyzes, generalizes, editorializes and summarizes instead of making the writing interactive and sensory for the reader. Naturally, there will be some generalizations and summarization in your writing, but you need to make sure these elements are in the minority, not the majority of your book. You need to show what’s happening so the reader can create in her own mind the picture you, the writer, want to share.

To locate telling writing look for:

  • Passive sentences. Often passive sentences, especially those with the word was in them, are a tip-off…

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About NevaBrown

Neva Brown, a retired secondary teacher/administrator, now enjoys the challenge of writing romance novels and doing editing for other romance writers. She has even ventured into the social media world of Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as well as having a website; nevabrown-author@weebly.com . Neva lived on West Texas ranches most of her life and uses that culture and environment in many of her stories. She and her husband now live at Rio Concho West in San Angelo, Texas. They are amazed at how well they have adjusted to ‘city’ living. Neva loves to hear from her readers. She can be reached at joneva@suddenlink.net
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