Sorry, just a quick question: Do you have 10,000 spare hours?

No? Then you're going to love this...

"I'm Going to Show You a Method Anyone Can Use to Master the 'Show Don't Tell Technique' Without Slaving Over It for 10,000 Hours"

Do you recognize the "red flags" in your writing that reveal "telling" instead of "showing?" No?

Your reader does.

Your reader won't necessarily know as much about writing as you do, but she'll "feel" that something is wrong. Something broke her out of the spell and suddenly there's a distance between her and your main character. She doesn't know why, but it's just there.

And once you've broken the spell, it's hard to recreate the magic.

Hi, Britt Malka here.

When I took my first writing course back in 1993, the only technique the teacher really stressed was "show, don't tell."

That's easy, Young Britt said to herself. But of course, it's not at all that simple.

Why Should We "Show"
Rather than "Tell?"

If you read an old story, like a fairy tale for example, you'll find that most of the story consists of a narrator "telling" us what happens. Then there'll be a little dialogue, but the real-time "showing" will be sparse.

And yet, those old stories were so effective, weren't they? We still read them to our children and grand-children today, more than 400 years later, so obviously they worked.

Why do they still work? Not because of the style they were written in. No, it’s because of their messages, the universal symbols that are embedded in each and every one.

Poor people didn't have books back then, rich people had a few. Every time they came across a story, they were happy, and it mattered less how it was told.

Readers today are more demanding.

Imagine This Nightmare...

Have you ever been driving a car with a toddler on the backseat?

It's two hours past his bedtime, but he refuses to sleep. Instead, he's screaming so loudly that you have to yell to talk to your spouse, who's sitting next to you.

You turn around and try to calm him down. "Why don't you cuddle your teddy? Where is teddy?"

Thanks to quick reflexes that only experienced parents have, you dock and the teddy smashes into the front screen.

You sigh. You have at least two more hours of driving ahead of you.

When your toddler's shoe hits your back, you understand that you need to find a way to make him happy, or the rest of the drive will be a nightmare.

You're lucky... Sort of.

Your toddler cannot decide that he's had enough and he wants to get out of the car now.

Your readers have that choice.

Your readers are exactly like an overtired toddler, if you don't keep them happy. They won't throw teddies at you, but they will throw your book through the room, and they won't pick it up again.

Or any of your other books for that matter.

Readers Don't Want to Read a Story

Readers want to experience a story, live it rather than read about it.

There's little joy in watching people from the outside. Readers want to experience their pain, go through the same scale of emotions as the characters, and rejoice with them when they win.

And there's only one way you, the writer, can give them that experience, and that's by showing all the important stuff rather than telling it.

Great Writers Show (When Necessary)

There's a reason why some writers gain worldwide fame and popularity.

Look at this short example from Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms. The story takes place in Italy, and the main character (an American) and his Italian friend Rinaldi meet two nurses. 

Rinaldi has previously said that he wanted to marry one of the nurses, Miss Barkley.

As it turns out, the main character and Miss Barkley engage in a conversation while Rinaldi talks with the other nurse, Miss Ferguson.

Notice how the following conversation SHOWS what kind of man Rinaldi is rather than TELL it with one word.

We went over toward Rinaldi and Miss Ferguson.
“You love Italy?” Rinaldi asked Miss Ferguson in English.
“Quite well.”
“No understand,” Rinaldi shook his head.
“Abbastanza bene,” I translated. He shook his head.
“That is not good. You love England?”
“Not too well. I’m Scotch, you see.”
Rinaldi looked at me blankly.
“She’s Scotch, so she loves Scotland better than England,” I said in Italian.
“But Scotland is England.”
I translated this for Miss Ferguson.
“Pas encore,” said Miss Ferguson.
“Not really?”
“Never. We do not like the English.”
“Not like the English? Not like Miss Barkley?”
“Oh, that’s different. You mustn’t take everything so literally.”
After a while we said good-night and left. Walking home Rinaldi said, “Miss Barkley prefers you to me. That is very clear. But the little Scotch one is very nice.”
“Very,” I said. I had not noticed her. “You like her?”
“No,” said Rinaldi.

So We Must "Show"

Easy decision to make, and you'd probably already decided to go that way.

Then where's the problem with "showing?"

The words, "Show, don't tell" are drilled into our subconscious mind so deep that you can wake up a writer at 3 am and ask him, "What must you do?" and the writer will scream, "Show, don't tell, sir."

Why don't we just show, then?

Because slipping into telling-mode is so easy that we don't even recognize when we do it.

Luckily, there are several signs and red flags to look for in your texts. Do you know them? Do you recognize them? Do you see them?

(Hint: I just used several of them in the last paragraph.)

How Can We Learn to Show,
Not Tell?

Like me, you've probably already read about "show, don't tell."

My training began with the course I took in 1993. I followed it up with the only Danish books that existed about how to write fiction. And of course, since I switched to reading and writing in English, I've read several books that included the "show, don't tell" technique in their advice.

I've also read books that were dedicated only to "show, don't tell."

Still, I struggled.

Because you can only learn so much from reading a book. After that, you're stuck with the old "10,000 hours of training" to hone your skill.

I don't know about you, but I don't have that kind of patience. I don't mind working, but I want the results to show up faster. Much faster.

I can't wait 10,000 hours to write my first book.

Luckily, There's a Faster and Better Way to Learn the Technique

Years ago, I taught adults how to use computers.

The first couple of times I was so nervous that I had nausea and stomach pains, but I told myself that I had chosen to do this as a freelancer, and if I didn't like it, I could just stop.

But I did like it. I loved to teach, and I still do, and that helped me get over my anxiety.

I received text books to use to teach my students. The books followed the traditional methods, and my students went through the stuff they were supposed to. But after a week of slaving over one topic, they still didn't get it.

That's when a timid voice inside me whispered, "Use your own experience," and from that day I put the books aside and only used them as support.

How did I teach instead? I used stories, humor, examples.

I let them loose.

"What happens if I click this button?"

"Try it out," I replied. A moment later when the student stared at a black screen, he knew what happened.

I taught my students not to be afraid to experience. And I will always remember the look in the eyes of the 80-year old man who showed me the Word document he'd worked on all evening.

Yes, you can learn new skills, and no, it doesn't have to take 10,000 hours when you know how to learn in a different way.

Online Learning Isn't Different

When you learn online, the "classroom" is virtual. You can learn from the comfort of your own home, often at your own pace and when it fits you best. 

You don't have to get up early in the morning, take a train or bus in a freezing cold weather, or be in a room with people who are chatting and disturbing your learning.

The methods I found that worked in the offline world work just as well, and even better, online.

But There Are Something You Can't Learn from a Book

Sure, you can read up on this on your own, and if the book contains exercises, you can do them.

But what if you're wrong? What if your solutions aren't the right ones or the best ones?

No static, one-sided book or video course can help you here. Only a teacher who gives you feedback can do that.

A teacher who can also motivate you and guide you when you're in doubt.

Think About This...

Have you ever heard of boys who read books to learn how to become soldiers?

Me neither.

They join the army, and they go through drills that teach them the skills that are necessary to survive. Or save a comrade - or even the country.

Why should learning a skill in writing be that different?

Sure, some skills can't be learned by doing drills. Like simply writing the story. For that you need to … write.

But to recognize patterns that show that you're telling rather than showing? That's a place where drills work soooo well. I can't think of anything - except slaving through the 10,000 hours - that works as well.

When I figured that out, I decided to create those drills, also for my own sake. Because I wanted to become a master of the "show, don't tell" technique.


Show Dont Tell Drills

What Will You Get?

You'll get four weeks of increasing difficulty with fun drills, exercises and feedback.

When you're done, I will be able to wake you up from a deep sleep and ask you to give me ten words that reveal "telling" and ask you what to write instead, and you'll give me the answer right away. You won't even have to think about it.

It will be ingrained in your brain, and every time you sit down to write or edit, you'll know it by heart.

  • You'll get a proven step by step plan to spot the sinners: The "tell" words that brutally drag the reader out of her pleasant magical zone and into the cold everyday world she tried to escape with your book. Your readers will love you for learning this.
  • A MUST-have knowledge about when to show and when you ABSOLUTELY should tell... Otherwise, you'll risk ruining your story, doing it more harm than not using the "show" technique at all.
  • When you're reading a book, you're not deep learning. The new knowledge doesn't root effectively in your mind. You'll be doing these drills in safe surroundings together with other like-minded writers like you. You'll both support and inspire each other.
  • Have you ever found yourself blocked while writing, wanting to find the right way to explain an emotion but the words won't come? I'll teach you a simple technique that will get you over that hurdle and you'll get it even before you do your first drill. This will save you a huge amount of time in the editing phase and give you an enormous pleasure while you're writing.
  • [Myth] It takes 10,000 hours to learn a new skill. Wrong. With the right kind of training (drills) the knowledge will come to you quickly and almost without effort. You'll find yourself "showing" in no time and it will become second nature to you. Something you no longer have to think hard about.

You get individual feedback to each of your exercises either the same day or the following, depending on our time-zones. This means that you'll learn from your mistakes immediately and will also get a clap on your shoulder for what you did well. I've seen students to from mediocre to brilliant in as little as one week.

You'll get to do daily drills which work so much better than just doing the exercises when you feel like it. You'll rarely feel like it, but when you know that you're going to do a drill today, tomorrow, and the following day, every day for three weeks, then it will become part of your daily habit and you get them done. You get the writing experience that makes all the difference in your stories.

You won't have to guess what is meant when a writing teacher tells you to avoid adverbs. You'll discover what it means and why it's important. And when you can get away with it anyway. This means you can write books your readers will live in rather than just read.

When Will We Start?

You can start immediately after you've joined. There's no waiting time.

Inside the forum, you'll see mentioned Monday, Tuesday, etc. But this is just a guideline. Do one drill per day, five days a week. We'll just call Monday for Day #1 if you start any other day of the week.

Will This Involve Facebook?

Nope, not at all. You'll get access to a private forum, where nobody but the other participants will see your replies.

You'll get daily and weekly exercise drills, you'll post your replies in safe surroundings, and you'll get feedback.

How Do You Join?

You can join by clicking the "Add to Cart" button below. You'll receive a short eBook about the "Show, Don't Tell" technique as well as clear instructions on how you join the forum.


       I highly recommend taking Britt Malka's Show Don't
            Tell course.

          I'm new to the children's book writing scene and every time I would get feedback from editors on the books I have written, they would always say the same thing: you need more showing and less telling.

That was good feedback, but how do you get better at 'more showing and less telling'?

I read many articles and received lots of advice, but it just wasn't enough.

I just wasn't getting it.

That is, until I found Britt Malka's Show Don't Tell Drills.

This course was exactly what I needed.

Britt not only provides you with the information you need, but she also provides you with exercises to practice what you learned. The exercises were great.

The best part of the course is that Britt provides feedback on all of your work. She lets you know if you get it right, but she also lets you know if you get it wrong and then you have the opportunity to fix it (which is something a lot of courses do not do).

Britt is also amazing at answering any questions you have. If you are having troubles with "showing" or find yourself "telling" too much, which, I am learning, is a common issue writers have, then you should take Britt's Show Don't Tell course.

I finally feel like I have a handle on this now.

Thanks so much Britt.

You are an amazing, knowledgeable, passionate instructor.


Dr. Pamela Kaval Writer and Research Consultant

You Have a Choice...

You can go on doing what you've always done.

You can use soothing music and a hot brew to get into the zone, the precious state of mind where the words fly from your fingers.

But then, just as you're about to describe how nervous your heroine is, you feel that something is wrong. You can't just tell it straight out. You need to show it.

But how?

While you search your mind and the Internet for an answer, your flow is broken. And it takes time to get back into the zone.

Or worse.

You type away, telling your future readers how your character is happy, or anxiously picks up the phone, or use one of the thousands of everyday words that TELL rather than SHOW.

You might not know the difference, but the readers will feel it.

Or you could sign up for "Show, Don't Tell Drills" today.

Three weeks from now, this could be you:

Imagine yourself sitting comfortably with a cup of your favorite hot beverage next to you. Scents from the brew drifts into your nostrils, and your heart beats faster.

With your fingers hovered over the keyboard, you already know this is going to be fun. You have music that help you focus running through your headset.

You start typing, and words flow from your fingers almost faster than you can speak. You know instinctively how to show what's happening to your hero. The words come into your head when you need them, and your eager fingers transfer them to the screen.

During a short break, you take a sip of your cup and enjoy the taste of the liquid. Your eyes skim over the last couple of paragraphs you wrote.

You know that when this story is finished, readers will feel that they are inside the heads of your main characters. With no distance at all. They'll experience your story rather than read it.

And when they put down the book, they'll have a big smile on their face and then start searching for your next book.

The choice is yours.

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PS Knowing how and when to show, rather than tell, is important if you want your books to succeed and sell. Learning from a book, or spending 10,000 hours honing this skill, isn't the best way to use your time. Use this effective shortcut and sign up for my "Show, Don't Tell Drills" now.

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