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The Secrets of “Show Don’t Tell”

  • 27 Feb 2016
  • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • El Segundo Public Library 111 W. Mariposa Ave., El Segundo CA 90245


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The Secrets of “Show Don’t Tell”

If your story is written with too much telling, too many internal thoughts and emotions, and a lack of visual details, this is the class for you.

 ·         Do you understand the difference between “showing” and “telling”?

  • ·         Do you know when it’s okay to “tell”?
  • ·         Do you know the difference between metaphors, inference, or descriptions and how to use them?
  • ·         Do you write so that your readers see the characters interacting within their world?

 In this class you will develop a deeper understanding of how to put your readers into the world of your characters. You will learn to expand your visual writing by seeing how to bring close-ups, medium shots, and wide-angle shots into your writing.  You will learn when to show and why sometimes it is okay to tell.

This will be an interactive workshop with writing exercises to help you expand your skills in developing images that will move the story forward. 


Nancy Ellen Dodd, MPW, MFA, earned two graduate degrees in writing from the University of Southern California. She is author of The Writer’s Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages (published by Writers Digest), based on more than three decades of learning storytelling. The book teaches the creative writing process and the Aristotle/Freytag architecture of story.

She also teaches advanced Screenwriting to undergraduate and graduate students at Pepperdine University; develops and teaches online courses in screenwriting and creative writing for Screenwriters University and Writers Digest University; and teaches a number of workshops in the U.S. and internationally.

Nancy has published short stories, had a play and short films produced, and received several awards for writing. She is currently on faculty at the Graziadio Business School at Pepperdine University as academic editor of the Graziadio Business Review, and served as editor of two print and two online journals and published more than 130 articles. Her website is

Date: Feb 27, 2016, Saturday

Time: 1 - 4 PM

Fee: $45

*$10 Discount for CBW-LA Members.

*Non-members pay the full amount.

*Fee includes workshop materials, handouts, worksheet and a copy of the authors’ book THE WRITER'S COMPASS



Map out your idea and finish your story in 7 stages!

This book will show writers how to develop their ideas into a finished novel by working through it in 7 stages, while learning how to mapping out their story's progress and structure so they can evaluate and improve their work. It teaches writers to visualize their story's progress with a story map that helps them see all the different components of their story, where these components are going, and, perhaps most importantly, what's missing.

The book simplifies Aristotle's elements of good writing (a.k.a. that each story should have a beginning, a middle and an end) into easily applicable concepts that will help writers improve their craft. The author helps readers strengthen their work by teaching them how to focus on one aspect of their story at a time, including forming stories and developing ideas, building strong structures, creating vibrant characters, and structuring scenes and transitions. Thought-provoking questions help writers more objectively assess their story's strengths and weaknesses so they may write the story they want to tell.


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