Dear Writers, Share Some Advice…?

Stein on Writing
Stein on Writing

Found a great example of Show not Tell today– ‘an evolution from telling to showing’ as Sol Stein puts it:

He took a walk.

He walked four blocks.

He walked four blocks slowly.

He walked the four blocks as if it were the last mile.

He walked as if against an unseen wind, hoping someone would stop him.

I think I’m going to tape this example to my study wall.

Have you recently found some writing advice, a concrete example, or a writing book that was helpful?


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Add Yours
  1. Priya

    I haven’t read any writing advice, Damyanti, but I did randomly found a couple of sentences somewhere that have been niggling that lazybones in me — “Don’t keep waiting for your ship. Swim to it.”

    If I could but follow this advice, I just might write a book I’ve been wanting to!

  2. Christina Carson (@CarsonCanada)

    One of the better books on writing that I’ve read: “The Making of a Story” by Alice LaPlante. This is not a book of rules but thoughtful reflections on all aspects of writing a novel. The examples from writers of established excellence are a teaching in themselves.

  3. Arlee Bird

    I like the example. Haven’t read any writing books lately, but I have several on the shelf to be read.

    I’m able to comment on WordPress again. Yay!

    An A to Z Co-Host
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  4. Ben Lund

    Those sentences are conveying different things. Too many authors get hung up on the prose itself and effectively write the reader out of the circumstance.

    If you have a compelling idea, don’t dance too far away from it.

    Lastly, the above example runs contrary to Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea. It reads as though written by a 10 year old, until you realize what you’re reading.

  5. DarcKnyt

    I’ve never been fond of Stein. I found him condescending and a bit too full of himself. But I do enjoy James Scott Bell’s books, and have learned a lot from them. Also from Chris Voegler’s Writer’s Journey. I’m really enjoying James N. Frey’s How to Write a Damn Good Novel II which is chock-full of GREAT information, but not so much specific information except examples from published works.