Show, Don’t Tell; Tips and Tricks Mini Retreat

March 20, 2021

All writers know the old adage, “Show, Don’t Tell.” But the sheer ubiquity of the advice means it sometimes loses its meaning. What does this time-tested piece of writing advice actually mean? Are there times when you’ve misapplied or over-applied it? Editor extraordinaire Louise Harnby will guide us through some of the nuances of showing and telling, and help us sort out our understanding of these concepts.

Who is Louise Harnby?

Louise Harnby is a professional fiction editor with 30 years’ publishing experience. She specializes in working with independent crime, thriller, and mystery writers, but she has edited stories of all types, in both traditional publishing and self-publishing. Check out her amazing portfolio. She is an Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP), and cohosts The Editing Podcast with Denise Cowle. Her website offers an array of amazing articles, books, and services. 

Our Schedule

  • 12:00pm: Intros and mingling with writers
  • 12:15pm: Louise’s instruction and Q&A
  • 1:30pm: Writing in community
  • 3:00pm: Reconvene; checkin, Q&A with Tim
  • 4:00pm: End

The Goals


We’ll explain “Show, Don’t Tell” in a nutshell and delve into some sample passages. Louise will argue that the ‘don’t’ should be removed from ‘show, don’t tell.’ And she’ll illuminate some showing ‘wins‘ and reveal how shown and told prose can work with voice.


We’ll have a mixture of very intimate chats (with one or two other writers) and our full-group chat. The idea here is to move from theory to the practice. So we’ll help each other wrap our heads around the concepts and see how they apply to our own writing.


It can seem strange, but it’s oddly effective to write in the company of other writers without ever talking to them. We’ll take a while to do just that, leaving Zoom on after the initial instruction while we tackle our work. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register?

Click on the “register” button below the FAQs. If you’ve registered for previous sessions with me, enter your login information. If you haven’t registered previously, it will ask you to create an account. 

How much does it cost?


Once I’ve registered, what happens?

You should get an email immediately upon successful registration. That email provides the link for the Zoom meeting on March 20th at 12:00pm, US Central Time (GMT-5). You’ll also get your login information, which you can use later, once I’ve put the recording up on the replay page. 

Am I signing up for anything other than this session?

Nope. Any information you supply is used only to facilitate logging in so you can get access to the recording and handouts. That’s it. You’re not automatically added to any email list. If you’d like to subscribe to my list, you can do so here. If you’d like to subscribe to Louise’s list, you can do so here.

Why sign up for this?

  • Digestible and practical instruction from seasoned experts
  • Application to your work-in-progress 
  • Recording and handouts available forever
  • Live participation and an ability to ask questions of the experts
  • Writing time set aside for you
  • You’ll also get Louise’s ebook, How to Make Sense of ‘Show, Don’t Tell’

Bonus: “Making Sense of ‘Show, Don’t tell'”

Included with the course is a free copy of Louise’s new ebook, Making Sense of ‘Show, Don’t Tell.’ This 100-page fiction-editing guide ​explores

  • Shown and told prose in different scenarios
  • The relevance of viewpoint
  • When exposition serves story and deepens character
  • Tools that help writers show 

Welcome to Storm Writing School!

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  • Read the About page
  • Scan the index of posts below

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