109: Show and Tell. Episode 47 revisited.

109: Show and Tell. Episode 47 revisited.

For the month of August, 2021, we’re bringing back four of our listeners’ favorite episodes. Writing Class Radio brings you personal stories and tips on how to write your own stories. 

In this episode, we examine the popular writing tenet, show DON’T tell. We believe just showing is not only impossible, but detrimental to your story. Telling gives insight into what the narrator is thinking and feeling.

To test this theory, we asked our students to just SHOW. We gave the prompt: A fight and instructed them to go directly to scene without explaining. We wanted to see if show without tell would work. After ten minutes, the students were asked to continue where they left off but to move from the scene into exposition, to just TELL. They were instructed to explain what was going on in the story, give background, and tell what the narrator was thinking and feeling. What we found: It’s impossible to show without telling.

You will hear short prompt responses from student Misha Mehrel, who has read many stories on this podcast, and student and co-host, Allison Langer. Finally, teacher and co-host, Andrea Askowitz, will read a longer piece called Spoiled Mom, which was developed out of this exercise and published in June 2018 in Mutha Magazine.  

Writing Class Radio is a podcast where you’ll hear true personal stories from the students in our class and learn a little about how to write your own stories. Writing Class Radio is equal parts heart and art. By heart we mean the truth in a story. By art we mean the craft of writing. No matter what’s going on in our lives, writing class is where we tell the truth. It’s where we work out our shit, and figure out who we are. There’s no place in the world like writing class. And we want to bring you in.

Writing Class Radio is co-hosted by Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com)  and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). 

The original episode 47 was produced by Virginia Lora, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer. Theme music by Ari Herstand. Additional music by TJ North, Kevin Miles Wilson, Ari Herstand and Podington Bear. You can find all our music on our website. Episode 108 was put together by Matt Cundill and Evan Surminski of the Sound Off Media Company.

Thank you for listening. If you love this podcast, tell your friends. 

There’s more writing class on our website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.

If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writers group, where you can write and share your work Tuesdays 12-1 (ET). www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


For the month of August, 2021, we’re bringing back four of our listeners’ favorite episodes. Writing Class Radio brings you personal stories and tips on how to write your own stories. 

In this episode, we examine the popular writing tenet, show DON’T tell. We believe just showing is not only impossible, but detrimental to your story. Telling gives insight into what the narrator is thinking and feeling.

To test this theory, we asked our students to just SHOW. We gave the prompt: A fight and instructed them to go directly to scene without explaining. We wanted to see if show without tell would work. After ten minutes, the students were asked to continue where they left off but to move from the scene into exposition, to just TELL. They were instructed to explain what was going on in the story, give background, and tell what the narrator was thinking and feeling. What we found: It’s impossible to show without telling.

You will hear short prompt responses from student Misha Mehrel, who has read many stories on this podcast, and student and co-host, Allison Langer. Finally, teacher and co-host, Andrea Askowitz, will read a longer piece called Spoiled Mom, which was developed out of this exercise and published in June 2018 in Mutha Magazine.  

Writing Class Radio is a podcast where you’ll hear true personal stories from the students in our class and learn a little about how to write your own stories. Writing Class Radio is equal parts heart and art. By heart we mean the truth in a story. By art we mean the craft of writing. No matter what’s going on in our lives, writing class is where we tell the truth. It’s where we work out our shit, and figure out who we are. There’s no place in the world like writing class. And we want to bring you in.

Writing Class Radio is co-hosted by Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com)  and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). 

The original episode 47 was produced by Virginia Lora, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer. Theme music by Ari Herstand. Additional music by TJ North, Kevin Miles Wilson, Ari Herstand and Podington Bear. You can find all our music on our website. Episode 108 was put together by Matt Cundill and Evan Surminski of the Sound Off Media Company.

Thank you for listening. If you love this podcast, tell your friends. 

There’s more writing class on our website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.

If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writers group, where you can write and share your work Tuesdays 12-1 (ET). www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.