The Career Author Podcast: Episode 63 – Exposition as Ammunition (Show, Don’t Tell)

Show don't tell

We’ve all heard “show, don’t tell,” but what does that mean? Join J. and Zach as they discuss the Robert McKee technique of exposition as ammunition along with examples. You will discover:

  • Some of the exciting things the guys are working on + the newest Molten Universe Media author, Cameron Coral!
  • An easy way to improve your productivity by integrating Slack with Google Drive
  • The process J. is using to build StoryLevels
  • The common advice of “Show, don’t tell” and what that actually looks like in practice
  • Why an infodump is the worst way to begin your story + how you should be putting worldbuilding and character info into your story instead
  • The concept of “exposition as ammunition” as explained by Robert Mckee
  • Some example scenes that use exposition as ammunition and how small cues can tell readers a lot about setting, character, genre, and more
  • Why the little details are what makes a setting come to life
  • When you should tell instead of showing

The Career Author Podcast is a podcast where co-authors J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon share their struggles and successes as full-time authors, advice for improving your writing craft, and honest discussions of what it takes to build a successful career as an author.

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Robert McKee – Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Storytelling

The Career Author – http://www.thecareerauthor.com

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StoryLevels – http://www.storylevels.com

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Events – https://thecareerauthor.com/events/  

4 thoughts on “The Career Author Podcast: Episode 63 – Exposition as Ammunition (Show, Don’t Tell)

  • Hi guys, great way today J. And congrats to Cameron Coral.
    Love the crafty topic as I read “Story” as part of my MA in Creative Writing (MFA).
    Interesting that an example J mentioned was space propulsion. At 20BooksLondon, a speaker, Barry J. Hutchison, a Scot who writes Comedy SciFi, was asked how he explained faster than light (FTL) space propulsion in his books. He said “the Captain takes hold of the throttle and pushes it forward like this…” He made a physical action to demonstrate. That drew a lot of laughs in the hall as Barry is a very funny speaker – well worth a listen to if you ever get the chance. He was serious but I wonder if the questioner was satisfied.
    I read some military SciFi last year and it appears to be a genre trope to explain in great detail about how the latest weapon or piece of military equipment works and why it is better than the last version. This may be because some military SciFi writers are ex-military themselves and are tapping into the military propensity to always moan about their kit. But I also think some writers might feel the need to air their credentials by telling and not showing although “it don’t impress me much”. I believe, as you guys do, that Story is King.
    I enjoy the crafty bits. Great show today.

    • Thanks, buddy. I totally agree. You have to know your audience. If they love guns, you might want to explain all of the features of your fictional weapon. But as far as Story goes, that level of telling is usually not necessary.

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