Alexa Bigwarfe interviews Sara Letourneau of Heart of the Story on this episode of the PublishHer Podcast, where they discuss a key writing tip; showing vs. telling in your writing and when it's appropriate to use one over the other.

Sara Letourneau is the book editor, writing coach, and workshop instructor at Heart of the Story Editorial & Coaching Services. She works with authors and writers to help them develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need so they can finish their manuscripts, polish them for publication, and stay focused and motivated as they reach for their writing goals and embrace their creativity. Sara is also an award-winning poet and the cofounder of the Pour Me a Poem open mic in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Her debut poetry collection, Wild Gardens, will be published by Kelsay Books in 2024.

Showing is all about description. It's a way of writing that allows the reader to experience what is happening in the story and to help them feel immersed in the scene. – Sara Letourneau

In this episode, we discuss:

    • Sara's upcoming poetry collection Wild Gardens, which is coming out through Kelsay Books in 2024
    • Sara's take on a key writing tip: “show, don’t tell”. She shares why it's important to use both showing vs. telling in your writing and when it's appropriate to use one over the other.
    • Her work as a book coach and editor
    • Get her special offer for our Women in Publishing Summit Community

The Art of Showing vs. Telling

Join writing coach Sara Letourneau as she guides writers through the art of showing vs. telling, weaving sensory details and immersive action to balance pacing and engage readers in this compelling exploration of storytelling techniques and valuable writing tip.

Key Takeaways

  • Writing Tip: Showing vs. Telling to Elevate Your Writing Craft
  • Achieve Balance and Depth in Your Writing Through Skillful Showing and Telling
  • Immerse Readers with Vivid Sensory Details for Enhanced Storytelling
  • Maintain Engaging Pacing in Your Narratives by Using Showing and Telling
  • Hone Your Storytelling Skills with Expert Tips on Showing and Telling Incorporation

Memorable Moments:

00:04:49 – Writing Tip; Showing vs. Telling in Writing
Sara explains the concept of showing versus telling in writing, emphasizing the importance of description, sensory details, and character dialogue. She provides examples of how to incorporate showing in different settings and character interactions.

00:10:07 – Challenges of Showing in Writing
Alexa discusses her struggles with transitioning from nonfiction writing to fiction writing and the difficulty of incorporating emotions and details into scenes. Sara offers tips for identifying and addressing the challenges of showing in writing.

00:14:58 – Emotions and Actions in Writing
Sara highlights the importance of portraying characters' emotions through their actions and dialogue. She emphasizes the impact of characters' feelings on their observations and interactions in different settings.

00:16:35 – The importance of showing versus telling in storytelling
Sara discusses the significance of incorporating actions and emotions to bring characters to life, emphasizing the need to practice showing rather than telling in writing.

00:18:21 – Balancing showing and telling in the writing process
Sara advises not to worry about balancing showing and telling during the first draft, but rather focus on identifying areas for improvement during the revision process using specific exercises.

00:19:35 – Instances when telling is the best option in writing
Sara explains that telling is suitable for sharing background information, events happening off the page, and when excessive detail affects pacing and reader engagement in the story.

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