Friday, July 20, 2012

The Importance of Story Context

Earlier this week, author P.C. Wrede posted on the real difference between "showing" and "telling" and what it means for a story in her post Show vs. Tell.

She has nicely put into words what I've always thought about the whole issue of "showing" (or dramatizing events) vs. "telling" or (stating something without actions or thoughts to back it up).

Making it a never-to-be-broken rule to show instead of tell isn't always what's best for the story. Like anything else, these are different techniques available in your writing toolbox and both can work, depending on what is needed. The key is to think about the context of each line in the story (and that's why revisions seem to take forever).


  1. Thank you for saying that show not tell is a rule that can be broken. Because I do see it broken in books at times and sometimes it works so well to get out a piece of info in a few words.

  2. Agreed. Like much in life, a 'rule' doesn't always apply. And yes, writing is the fast part. Revising, whee writing well comes along, takes so. much. time.

  3. Excellent point, and very timely as I get to work on my new WIP!


I love to hear your responses and thoughts! Your comments will appear after moderation (I’ve decided to enable moderation due to excessive spam).