Linked Questions

38
votes
8answers
3k views

When is it okay to “tell”, instead of “show”?

One of the major mantras of writing fiction is "show, don't tell". Is it ever okay to tell? When?
31
votes
2answers
2k views

When should modifiers be avoided?

I've come across this Mark Twain quote: When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them -- then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close ...
16
votes
8answers
898 views

How much leeway can be expected from an editor regarding my preference for nonstandard punctuation?

As I hope to present a unique style to the world, as I am not especially tolerant of being told I'm doing things "wrong" when that's a subjective statement related to writing style, and as I've never ...
10
votes
8answers
1k views

Correct spelling errors while writing or after you've finished?

With the "write, don't edit" rule in mind, how should one handle mistyping? I usually stop or go back to fix the error as soon as I spot it, but often I feel this breaks the flow of writing. Should ...
7
votes
7answers
4k views

How important is it to know the end before the writing the beginning?

One of the Rules of writing indicates that knowing the end before the beginning is critical to writing. Which I find odd, because in my writing (early days, probably doing it wrong), one of the best ...
12
votes
4answers
563 views

2nd Draft- Fix spelling/grammar or plot first?

I just finished the first draft of my novel, and Im going to put it away for at least a month. The book has a lot of spelling / grammatical errors, as in true Nanowrimo style, I kept typing without ...
4
votes
6answers
16k views

Fiction Novels & Active vs. Passive Voice

Before I launch into this, I've perused these threads and they don't quite answer the specific question I have in mind: When to keep the passive voice and when to remove it When *should* I use ...
3
votes
7answers
464 views

Beginners can break rules too?

I came across several disciplines of writing which one must know while writing (especially beginners), concerning narrative conventions and the rules of story logic. Some of the sources for this ...
2
votes
5answers
270 views

How do I avoid tradeoffs with showing vs. telling? [closed]

I learned early on (as most writers have) "show, don't tell," which I agree with for the most part. However, I've found many situations in writing when I'd start to write a statement in tell, catch ...
10
votes
2answers
934 views

How to identify a scene type?

What are the main types in which a scene can be classified, and what are the key concepts for each type? I am thinking something along the following (guessing the descriptions): suspense - scene ...
4
votes
4answers
481 views

Are these fictional musings convincing or overwrought?

I've been working for some time on a story about a detective who finds himself alienated, delusional and hopeless while trapped inside a dystopic, postmodern dream. This segment voices some of the ...
3
votes
7answers
220 views

Writing technique resources

Are there resources (books, blogs...) which describe proven techniques to obtain certain effects? For example: you will obtain this effect if you use the first person, effective ways to describe fear, ...
1
vote
3answers
475 views

What are frequently used arguments for recognizing bad writing styles in fiction?

I ve heard randomly of remarks used to explain why a writing style is bad. for instance by the argument that a writing style is bad because of the usage of adjectives. Could you provide further ...
3
votes
2answers
257 views

How to present details about the setting in a fantasy world without telling? [duplicate]

One of the rules of good writing is the show, don't tell rule. I want to create a realistic fantasy world, so I've thought about details like astronomy, geography and so on. For instance, this world ...
-2
votes
1answer
729 views

Examples of Successful Rule-Breaking in Novels [closed]

I just finished "The House of the Seven Gables" by Hawthorne. I was struck by how often he switched tenses. Mostly the narration was in past tense, but then he would switch to present or even future ...

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