"Show" vs "Tell" in short stories and novels: What are some famous writings that

  1. Billie Kelpin profile image85
    Billie Kelpinposted 3 years ago

    "Show" vs "Tell" in short stories and novels: What are some famous writings that do each?

    It is the concensus of writing workshops that short stories and novels should "show" and NOT "tell". Are there some famous works that predominently "tell"?  What are some examples that overwhelmingly "show"?  And what are some that do an equal amount of "showing" AND "telling"?  I'm speaking only of short stories and novels, not screenwriting. I'm not an avid reader and I'm really looking for great examples of "telling".  Is "To Kill a Mockingbird" one? 

    https://usercontent1.hubstatic.com/12223474_f260.jpg

  2. WillStarr profile image81
    WillStarrposted 3 years ago
  3. Tusitala Tom profile image65
    Tusitala Tomposted 3 years ago

    I just had a look at Will Starr's excellent Hub on 'Show and Tell.'  Will is so good that when I read one of his fictional stories some years back I actually thought it was factual.  But back to your question.

    I've written a dozen or so books but only three major works of fiction.  In two of these I even used a 'prologue' to set the atmosphere for the yarn to follow.  It guess you could call these prologues 'showing.'  I'll include here an example of the show, then the tell, as a start to "The Sealers," and "Sailor Boy Blue."

    "The Sealers," beginning of prologue: Stark, the crags against the hard clear sky; Stark, the name of the man who sighted them from afar.  The sailors wanted to call the place 'Steep Island,' but their master named it in honour of the governor.  Yet he was second to name that land.  Captain Hasselburg of the colonial brig, Perseverence, beat him by a week."

    "Sailor Boy Blue" - Sex was Harry Webster's problem.  It wasn't that he wasn't getting enough: he wasn't getting any.  That was the problem.  All his mates were.  If you could believe them.  And Harry did.  For his wasn't the mind of the cynic and disbeliever; his the open, uncritical mind of the young.  At eighteen Harry was a virgin and ashamed of it.  As a sailor of three months standing, he was very ashamed of it.

    I also do a lot of oral storytelling before audiences.  In these instances it is a mixture of show and tell.  One moves into the story, introduces characters and dialogue.  This is show.  Then one moves out of the story to address the audience with a quick explanation if needed, this is tell.

    Hope this has helped.

 
working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)