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Showing posts from July, 2024

YMMV: Don't Show, Don't Tell, Cue

🎱 Thick Smoke, See Her Smilin' Through... We've all heard the adage: "Show, don't tell." It is, if we're being completely honest with ourselves, a bit over-deployed. It's mainly aimed at the kinds of new writers who think describing events is the same as telling a story, but once you reach a certain level of craft proficiency, you realize that showing versus telling is more about the trade-off. To show something is more engaging, but to tell is more expedient. Sometimes you "tell" in order to preserve pacing. Sometimes you "show" because you can make it into an amusing bit. But sometimes it's best to just do neither... Don't Show, Don't Tell, Cue So why is showing-versus-telling even a thing? The reason has to do with something I talked about in the last post: backstory. Backstory, for the uninitiated, is the necessary context for your story that isn't actually a part of the main plot. This can be everything from world-