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All the posts I mentioned at London Writers Café on Showing & Telling

The London Writers' Café is a longstanding group of fiction writers which holds all sorts of workshops, one-day retreats and critique events, and last Saturday I was asked to give a two-hour workshop on Showing & Telling. As ever, I mentioned several blog-posts, and I promised to round up the links and post them here, and a few others. I've missed one, or there's some other topic that you'd find useful, do say in the comments, and if I've got a post about it I'll dig it up.

Andrew Stanton's TED talk on storytelling

WordsAway evening Salons for Writers, at the Tea House Theatre Vauxhall (A new series, for the New Year, will be showing there just as soon as we've finalised the details)

The Itch of Writing Toolkit, the full list of practical posts

Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction: all the details, links to buy it, plus download the first chapter for free


SHOWING AND TELLING: the basics : how to use both to make your story do everything you want it to do.

HOW SHOWING AND TELLING CO-OPERATE : why you need both, and how they work together

HOW TO TELL, AND STILL SHOW : how to get on with the story without sacrificing vividness

PSYCHIC DISTANCE: what it is and how to use it : a key technique, not much discussed and not hard to grasp.

FREE INDIRECT STYLE : what it is and how to use it : the huge advantage we have over the playwrights and scriptwriters, so why wouldn't you exploit all the things it can do?


  1. POINT OF VIEW & NARRATORS 1: the basics : what point of view is, what a narrator is, and why it matters
  2. POINT OF VIEW & NARRATORS 2: internal narrators : character-narrators who narrate in first person
  3. POINT OF VIEW & NARRATORS 3: external narrators : limited, switching and privileged point of view in narrators who narrate in third person
  4. POINT OF VIEW & NARRATORS 4: moving point of view and other stories : how to work with a moving point of view, second-person narrators and other stuff

HOW TO MOVE POINT OF VIEW : not just between chapters, but in a single sentence. And why (as long as you do it well) no one can tell you it's not allowed.

POINT OF VIEW AS "CIRCLES OF CONSCIOUSNESS" : a more useful and sophisticated way of thinking about point-of-view and psychic distance, and how to use it to best effect

GETTING FROM ONE SCENE TO THE NEXT : jump-cut or narrated slide? Doof-d00f-doof ending then crash landing, or taking the reader there in stages?

PAST AND PRESENT TENSE : the pros and cons of both : the different issues that arise with first and third person for each tense, and why the new creative writing orthodoxy is wrong

OVERWRITING: has someone told you your work is over-written? : here is what they might mean, and what you can do about it.

"FILTERING": HD for your writing : an unhelpful name for the single, simplest way to revise your writing into greater vividness.