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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > December 2019 > Welcome…


Dear Reader

One of the most frequently-repeated snippets of advice for writers, and most essential, is also one of the most frequently misunderstood, so we decided to go in-depth on ‘show not tell’ this month. The difficulty seems to arise from an element of misinterpretation: all writing is, after all, imparting of information, so the ‘telling’ writer, perhaps attempting to take on board other advice about keeping it concise or killing darlings, gets right to the heart of it and conveys the information. And that approach does have its place. Perhaps most obviously, between your chapters, say, ‘Five years passed.’ Attempt to show that, rather than tell it, and your story will never get started. Less flippantly, you need some telling as a counterbalance, if nothing else, to your showing. Perhaps it could be summarised as, tell the trivial, so that you have space and time to show the essential. Show the parts that put readers into your scene, that make them empathise with your characters, that bring your story to life. Tell the parts you can’t avoid putting in but want readers to gloss over.

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About Writing Magazine

The focus on this month's Writing Magazine is on the creative writing techniques that give your writing the chance to really shine. Make sure your structure is worked out with our expert guide to plotting. Go deep into what the old adage 'show not tell' really means and how you can make it work in your manuscript. Explore the top ten tips on writing fantasy, look at how to write young characters and discover the answers to the top 20 questions on how to become a children's author. • In our star interview, meet bestselling crime writers and husband and wife team Nicci French, talking about how two pens are better than one. • Don't miss out on the latest opportunities to get published, writing competitions to enter and a massive £83,000 in cash prizes to be won!