In this episode, we examine the popular writing tenet, show DON’T tell. We believe just showing is not only impossible, but detrimental to your story. Telling gives insight into what the narrator is thinking and feeling.
To test this theory, we asked our students to just SHOW. We gave the prompt: A Fight and instructed them to go directly to scene without explaining. After ten minutes, the students were asked to continue where they left off but to move from the scene into exposition, to just TELL. They were instructed to explain what was going on in the story, give background, and tell what the narrator was thinking and feeling. What we found: It’s impossible to show without telling. We are show AND tell advocates.
You will hear short prompt responses from student Misha Mehrel, who has read many stories on this podcast, and student and co-host, Allison Langer. Finally, teacher and co-host, Andrea Askowitz, will read a longer piece called Spoiled Mom, which was developed out of this exercise and published in June 2018 in Mutha Magazine. (www.muthamagazine.com)
This episode is sponsored by The Sanibel Island Writers Conference (https://www2.fgcu.edu/siwc/) Nov. 8-11, 2018. It’s the best writing conference in the world for all kinds of writing. Steve Almond, the author of many books most recently Bad Stories, tells you why. JOIN ANDREA AND STEVE AND OTHERS IN SANIBEL. This episode is also sponsored by 88 Cups of Tea, a podcast for all types of writers and genres hosted by Yin Chang.
Writing Class Radio is a podcast where you’ll hear true personal stories from the students in our class and learn a little about how to write your own stories. Writing Class Radio is equal parts heart and art. By heart we mean the truth in a story. By art we mean the craft of writing. No matter what’s going on in our lives, writing class is where we tell the truth. It’s where we work out our shit, and figure out who we are. There’s no place in the world like writing class.
And we want to bring you in. One way is to enter our Fall Contest. Here’s the PROMPT: A Time You had an Unpopular Opinion (big or small). Write your stories, 1,200 words or fewer, and send them to email@example.com. Deadline is Sept. 30, 2018. Guidelines on our website.
Writing Class Radio is co-hosted by student Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com)and teacher Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com).
Writing Class Radio is produced by Virginia Lora, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer. We are sponsored by and recorded at the University of Miami School of Communication.
Theme music by Ari Herstand. Additional music by TJ North, Kevin Miles Wilson, Ari Herstand and Podington Bear. You can find all our music on our website.
There’s more writing class on our website (www.writingclassradio.com), twitter (@wrtgclassradio) and Facebook.
If you want inspiration in video form, we have a 3-part series for sale on our website. Andrea and Allison show our faces for radio as we reveal our top writing tips. Go to writingclassradio.com and download the videos. $20 for one or just $50 for all three.
So you’ve written an essay. Or you’re almost finished. Now what? Where do you send your story for publication? How do you format a story? Do you need a cover letter? We have the answers in a FREE publishing guide. To get our guide, join our mailing list. Go to writingclassradio.com and hit the sign up button. Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For those who like a schedude, look for a new podcast episode on the first Wednesday of every month.
There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?