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Every writer is familiar with the rule “show don’t tell.” But how exactly does this rule apply to beautifully written, award-winning third-person omniscient books such as Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White (“Fern loved Wilbur more than anything. She loved to stroke him, to feed him, to put him to bed.”); Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo (Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a rabbit who was made almost entirely of china.); and Holes by Louis Sachar (“There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. There once was a very large lake here, the largest lake in Texas.)
These stories, as with fairy tales of old, “tell” the reader a story, yet they are evocative, powerful works of literary art. What are the rules for telling without “telling” in third-person omniscient?