Guest Post: To Tell or Overtell? by Zachary Chopchinksi

Hello, everyone! Today, I’m excited to kick off a series of fantastic guest posts from some of my favorite fellow authors. Stay tuned this week and next week for their posts, and I guarantee you’ll learn a lot and have a few chuckles along the way, too!

overtellTo tell or to overtell. That is the question. Or fear, more so. We have all been in a situation where we are obligatorily nodding our heads with the occasional “Yeah, yeah yeah” or “I know, I get it”. The story that will not end. The long-winded individual that means well, but their delivery drags on farther than stretched taffy. This is an issue that should be examined to help any tale-teller or, in our case, author. In fact, I have been known to do this on occasion…OK, it’s actually an issue of mine. I’ve been working on it, and through some of the resources I have come by I would like to pass along some of the things I’ve learned.

The threat of “over-telling” a story is a real issue that can make the author sound pompous, can let the reader get bored (or discouraged) and in many cases, cause further reading of the author to be rare. Although, it is important that the author’s story be well founded, strong, and remnant of the previous aspects of the story–so the reader does not forget anything–it is also important that the author be wary of over-telling. Strange to think of, yet very important.

So ways to combat this? READ YOUR OWN WORK! Silly, I know, and generally a given, but authors don’t always do this. Some things to look for are re-used adjectives describing similar situations. Repetition is an obvious tell. Another thing to monitor is the references to previous events within your story. If it keeps coming up, examine how to avoid that. If the repetition is necessary, consider different ways to introduce the details.

Small tips from small writer.

More from Zach:


The Curious Tale of Gabrielle

The 2K International Writers’ Blog Tour Interview


Kate M. Colby is an author of science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction. When she is not writing or working, Kate enjoys playing video games, antiquing, and wine tasting. She lives in the United States with her husband and furry children.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Writing & Publishing Articles
6 comments on “Guest Post: To Tell or Overtell? by Zachary Chopchinksi
  1. Not only Read your own work, but Read it out loud to yourself – you’ll be surprised how many things you’ll discover that way 😀

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Galit Balli says:

    Great post, reading your work and out load is the best thing… It helps so much 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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