ONLINE Show More, Tell Less: Using Concrete Details To Bring Stories To Life
At some point, everyone is told by a course instructor or writing buddy to “show don’t tell”. But how does one completely avoid unnecessary telling in favor of showing? This micro-workshop explores key techniques for portraying characters, plot developments and themes more concretely, bringing stories to life. Through a series of hands-on exercises, we explore:
• Conveying characters’ thoughts and feelings through physical description.
• Creating vivid dialogue without resorting to adverbs and overly distracting speech tags.
• Using setting description in place of backstory and exposition.
• Exceptions to the principle of “show don’t tell”, where telling makes perfect sense.
Participants are encouraged (but not required) to bring works-in-progress for possible rewriting during the exercises.
This is an interactive online workshop using the Zoom web conferencing platform.
Jason Pearce is a Toronto-based fiction writer who first joined the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society in 2003. Jason’s short stories have appeared in various literary journals and anthologies, including Grain and Knucklehead Noir (Coffin Hop Press, 2019). He has also published articles on writing and literature, including two entries in The Robert Frost Encyclopedia (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001). Jason holds an M.A. in English Literature and has taught undergraduate poetry, prose and drama.