AUTHORS: Is “Showing” versus “Telling” Truly Either-Or?

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

business-graphics-1428664-mToday I am continuing a series of post about opposites in fiction that writers often consider to be cases of “either-or” but in reality may be seen to be the ends of a spectrum instead.

By the very nature of saying that a spectrum exists, there is a whole line connecting the two “opposites,” and any particular case may fall anywhere on that line, combining qualities of each “purity” (represented by the end points) in varying degrees.

My last post examined philosophical versus action/plot-driven fiction as such a spectrum. Today, I wanted to explore the hot topic of “showing versus telling” as a spectrum.

Now, showing versus telling is such a hot topic that it honestly has become over-examined and even boring. The basic point everyone is always saying: Showing is better. Don’t “tell.” Demonstrate. Illustrate.

On a (very) simplified level, I think we all agree with this: show, don’t…

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