4 thoughts on “Guest post: Show instead of tell – the literary mantra by João Cerqueira

  1. Jane Risdon says:

    Fascinating and helpful to me as I am having this problem right now. I have interest from a publisher who sought me out, loves my work and apparently my synopsis has got all the boxes ticked. After some discussion re my 3 chapters he wants me to show not tell some parts of my story which I feel needed to be told…..it does all unfold in various ways later in the book, but it is the whole reason for the story and to me it does not make that much sense unless there is some telling first. Via dialogue, thoughts and so forth. I am happy to make changes of course, if necessary, but surely to understand a character and their motives some sort of tell is needed as it cannot all be done via dialogue and thoughts – what do you think? Thanks Morgen and thanks J. Cerqueira for this. Appreciated.


  2. Jane Risdon says:

    Oh and I forgot to mention that I really enjoyed your excerpt. Love anything like that and I wish you well with all your future books and work. Appreciated the chance to read it.


  3. João Cerqueira says:


    Thank you.
    Unfortunately, the editors have the final word and complex thought is not very welcome in today’s publishing.
    Vampire books are more important than Marcel Proust works.

    Have a nice day,


    • Jane Risdon says:

      Thanks for your reply. I agree, there are lots of vampires and shape changers out there…perhaps I should write something like that! There is a huge market after all and publishers will go for what sells….I just bump the odd person off in my writing, in a very traditional manner, and I like to make the reader work hard to uncover the evil doers. I like to think about what I read and although I don’t want to be told everything, clues need to be laid and other characters do have to have some background filled in for it all to make sense. Oh well, at least I have had interest and it is on-going, so I shall see what I can come up with. Thanks for the reply and many many good wishes for your continued success. Good to read your piece. Jane


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