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Writing Series Spotlight: Showing vs. Telling and POV

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I received my invitation to judge the 2010 ACFW Genesis contest late last week and immediately responded with an emphatic yes. The two craft areas I find myself commenting upon most in contest entries (or when I’m doing a content edit for one of the publishers I work for) are what I’m highlighting today: Showing vs. Telling and Point of View.

Showing vs. Telling is probably one of my favorite series I’ve ever done. I probably learned more about it in the process of writing the series than anyone who read it. I don’t claim to be a master at it, and it’s one of those areas of craft that’s better focused on during the revision process than the writing process.

Learning Point of View is a long, hard-fought struggle. I don’t know if there’s an author out there who’s “perfect” at it. And I believe that it’s something that goes hand-in-hand with Showing vs. Telling. I’ve done two series on Point of View—one that explains what it is, and the second which goes into a little more detail on how to use it.

Showing vs. Telling (January/February 2007)
Showing vs. Telling—An Introduction
Showing vs. Telling—The First Date
Showing vs. Telling—Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Showing vs. Telling—In the Eye of the Beholder
Showing vs. Telling—Feeeeeeeeeelings . . .
Showing vs. Telling—Do You See What I See?
Showing vs. Telling—Do You Smell What I Taste?
Showing vs. Telling—The Sixth Sense
Showing vs. Telling—Puppets, Cartoon Characters, or Live Action?
When to TELL

Point of View (June 2007).
Point of View–Whose Story Is This?
Point of View–How Important Is It?
Point of View–Semantics & Book List
Point of View–Giving POV the Third Degree
Making your Point (of View)
Getting POV Right
Point of View–Showing vs. Telling

Make Point of View Work for You (April/May 2009).
Make POV Work for You–Introduction
Make POV Work for You: Dispelling a Few POV Myths
Make POV Work for You: POV Begins with Character
Make POV Work for You: I’m Ready for My Closeup
Make POV Work for You: Avoiding Head-Hopping
Make POV Work for You: The Unreliable Narrator
Make POV Work for You: Character Vocabulary
Make POV Work for You: Show Don’t Tell (Part 1)
Make POV Work for You: More on Character Description
Make POV Work for You: Show Don’t Tell (Part 2)
Make POV Work for You: Writing the Male POV

  1. Carol Collett permalink
    Tuesday, March 2, 2010 5:06 am

    Thanks for reminding me about those. I need to read all three series again and again.


  2. Tuesday, March 2, 2010 8:20 am

    Do you think anyone would notice if I just didn’t go to work the rest of the week? I could tell them I’m attending master’s classes in writing fiction . . . .

    Thanks for sharing these, Kaye. Just this morning one of my blog-pals mentioned a workshop you did, that she attended, about turning from pantser to plotter. Do you have anything on that topic in your Writing Series?


  3. Tuesday, March 2, 2010 11:54 am

    Thank you so much for posting this series again – I wasn’t on the blog-universe when you first posted it. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about showing vs telling, and how I’m not sure I really get it. I’m at the end of ‘The First Date’ and already it’s making more sense. I’m really enjoying writing about a girl who bumped into her ex in a supermarket at the moment. Lets hope it’s all showing!!

    I agree with Regina, would anyone notice if I wasn’t here for a few days?


  4. Elizabeth Krall permalink
    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 11:42 pm

    Kaye, I wanted to give a big ‘thank you’ for these series on Point on View and Showing and Telling, and the advice to do away with all adverbs. I’ve just come across them them now (September 2012) but the advice and information are timeless. I hope I can make use of it all! [she thought despairingly, running her stubby fingers through her wavy brown hair]


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