• Style,  Writing

    How to Handle Backstory in Fiction

    You. Must. Cut. Your. Backstory. How many times have you heard this? Plenty, I bet. Along with “show, don’t tell”, it’s one of the first things a writer learns. But it can be difficult to know how to handle backstory. You’re probably thinking that if you cut your character’s backstory, the reader won’t understand why your character behaves in a certain way and they’ll probably end up very confused. And you’d be right! But problems arise when you don’t know how to handle backstory. New writers tend to present it to the reader using exposition, one of those pesky writing tools we need to learn to use effectively or risk disengaging our readers. If you…

  • Style,  Writing

    How to Tell Effectively in Fiction

    Effective telling? But I’ve been told “show, don’t tell”—now you’re telling me I have to tell effectively? I’m so confused! Don’t be, dear reader. The first two episodes in this six-part blog series, Showing and Telling Made Easy, will give you the grounding you need to wrap your head around ‘telling effectively’. So far, we’ve covered 3 Reasons to Show Before You Tell and 5 Tools that Show and Tell in Fiction. Check them out if you haven’t already. So what do I mean by effective telling? Well, there are times when it’s acceptable, even necessary, to tell rather than show in fiction. But there’s telling that will put your readers to sleep—and then…

  • Style,  Writing

    5 Tools that Show and Tell in Fiction

    “I know I’m supposed to show rather than tell, but how do I do it? And when must I do it? Every new writer. Ever. Are you a fiction writer struggling to master how to show and when to tell your story? This episode of Showing and Telling Made Easy will take you back to basics as we take a close look at the tools fiction writers use to communicate their stories. To understand the difference between showing and telling, and the importance of showing before you tell, read episode one of Showing and Telling Made Easy—3 Reasons to Show Before You Tell. 5 Tools that Show and Tell When you sit down to put…