Showing Not Telling Quotes

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Showing Not Telling Quotes

And if Im guilty of having gratuitous sex, then Im also guilty of having gratuitous violence, and gratuitous feasting, and gratuitous description of clothes, and gratuitous heraldry, because very little of this is necessary to advance the plot. But my philosophy is that plot advancement is not what the experience of reading fiction is about. If all we care about is advancing the plot, why read novels? We can just read Cliffs Notes. A novel for me is an immersive experience where I feel as if I have lived it and that Ive tasted the food and experienced the sex and experienced the terror of battle. So I want all of the detail, all of the sensory things—whether its a good experience, or a bad experience, I want to put the reader through it. To that mind, detail is necessary, showing not telling is necessary, and nothing is gratuitous.
— George R.R. Martin —

[Referring to passage by Alice Munro] Finally, the passage contradicts a form of bad advice often given young writers
namely, that the job of the author is to show, not tell. Needless to say, many great novelists combine "dramatic" showing with long sections of the flat-out authorial narration that is, I guess, what is meant by telling. And the warning against telling leads to a confusion that causes novice writers to think that everything should be acted out
don't tell us a character is happy, show us how she screams "yay" and jumps up and down for joy
when in fact the responsibility of showing should be assumed by the energetic and specific use of language.

— Francine Prose

That's insanity. No other girl is going to come along and distract him. He is absolutely focused on you. We are not interchangeable objects, LEGO pieces that click together just because the parts fit. If he is telling you he wants you, then no one else is going to do. If you can't believe what he's telling you because of whatever your ordeal in the past is, pay attention to what he's showing you. Actions always speak louder than words.

— Jay Crownover

I figured I'd lay all my cards on the table. You're not having sex. I'm not having sex. Thought maybe we could work through our problem together."
"I don't have a problem."
"So why aren't you having sex, then?"
"Why aren't you?"
"Because I'd like to have it with you, and you haven't given in to me. Yet" He brought the beer to his lips and watched me as he drank.
"I can't believe we're having this conversation. You know I'm seeing someone."
"I do. That's why we're having this conversation. If you weren't seeing someone, I'd have you up on that kitchen island showing you what I want to do to you, rather than telling you."
"Is that so?"
He moved closer. "It is."
"What if I'm not into you in that way?"
Chase looked down, his eyes lingering on my nipples. My very erect nipples. "Your body says otherwise.

— Vi Keeland

There has appeared in our time a particular class of books and articles which I sincerely and solemnly think may be called the silliest ever known among men ... these things are about nothing; they are about what is called Success. On every bookstall, in every magazine, you may find works telling people how to succeed. They are books showing men how to succeed in everything; they are written by men who cannot even succeed in writing books. To begin with, of course, there is no such thing as Success. Or, if you like to put it so, there is nothing that is not successful. That a thing is successful merely means that it is; a millionaire is successful in being a millionaire and a donkey in being a donkey ... I really think that the people who buy these books (if any people do buy them) have a moral, if not a legal, right to ask for their money back.

— G.K. Chesterton

What's the fun in approaching something closed-minded? I'm very specific; if dialogue is too on-the-nose, or there's a lot of telling and not showing, I'll talk to my manager and let them know the problems I have with it. But, I always go in with fresh eyes. The first pass just needs to be about figuring out little things here and there.

— Will Rothhaar

Lies hold civilization together. If people ever seriously begin telling each other what they really think, there'd be no peace. Good-bye to tact. Good-bye to being polite. Good-bye to showing tolerance for other people's buffooneries. The fact that we claim to admire Truth is probably the biggest lie of all. But that's part of the charade, part of what makes us human, and we do not even think about it. In effect, we lie to ourselves. Lies are only despicable when they betray a trust.

— Jack McDevitt

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