Guest blogger: Claire Boston

WhatGoesOnTourCoverIt’s so wonderful to have Claire on the blog today. Claire is one of the few author friends I have who I am able to see regularly. Claire’s debut novel, What Goes on Tour, came out in February, and I was at the pitch session where her manuscript was accepted, so I’m really so happy for her success.

Show Don’t Tell

First of all I want to say thank you to Michelle Diener and the rest of the Magical Musings crew for inviting me to guest blog today. I had no idea what I was going to blog about until I went to the most amazing production the other day called, Burn The Floor. It’s a ballroom dance spectacular and it really wowed me and got me thinking.

As authors, one of the things we are constantly told is show don’t tell. What this means is don’t say, “Libby was upset”, show she is upset by the way she folds her arms across her stomach, looks down on the floor and speaks quietly.

It can be tricky to do especially when a character is going through an emotional roller-coaster and you need to think up different ways of showing they are angry or upset or sad.

So what’s this got to do with Burn the Floor?


The dancers on the stage told many stories without using a single word. There was no program to say, ‘The first dance is a Romeo and Juliet story’ or ‘the last dance is all about falling in love’ – you just knew what it was about. Through music, movement and body language these dancers told stories to the audience which had me at various times, cheering, laughing and close to tears. It was just beautiful.

I came out of the theatre feeling a bit like I’d finished reading a really satisfying book. My heart was pounding, I felt way too emotional, like I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time and I felt thoroughly satisfied.

This is the type of feeling authors try to evoke in their readers. We tweak every word like tuning a guitar attempting to get the right combination in order to send our readers on that rollercoaster. For me, Burn The Floor was a lesson in how to show and not tell. It explored body language and movement in a way I’d never thought of before and I know I’ll be watching the DVD I bought regularly to remind myself of how it can be done. Last month Mary Hughes wrote a blog on Television, Books and the Power of Story in which she wrote, “you can’t get more concentrated storytelling than a movie, television, or play” and I’d like to add dance to her list.

Claire’s debut book What Goes on Tour was released in February 2014. You can find Claire online at:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

WhatGoesOnTourCoverAbout What Goes on Tour:

What goes on tour, stays on tour … or does it?

Few people know that socially awkward Adrian Hart is actually rock God, Kent Downer, and that’s the way Adrian likes it. His privacy is essential, especially now that he has guardianship of his orphaned, ten-year-old niece, Kate. But when the nanny quits in the middle of his Australian tour Adrian finds himself in a bind.

Until Libby Myles walks into his life.

Libby has only ever wanted to become a full-time author and prove to her parents that she can make it on her own. On the surface, the temporary job as the nanny for Kent Downer’s niece looks perfect—the pay is fabulous, the hours are short and Kate is a big fan—it’s the rock star that’s the issue.

Arrogant and way too attractive for anyone’s good, Kent Downer has enough swagger to power a small city. But when he’s out of costume he’s different—shy and uncertain. For Libby it’s a far harder combination to resist. She needs to find a balance between work, writing and ignoring her attraction to the rock star, because if she falls for him, it could mean the end of her dream.

But when a horrible scandal is unleashed—putting young Kate in danger—there’s more heat between Libby and Adrian than just sexual attraction. Libby must figure out if Adrian ever cared for her, or if it was all just part of the show …

About Michelle Diener

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction and fantasy. To find out more about her and her novels, you can visit her website.
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12 Responses to Guest blogger: Claire Boston

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Claire, welcome to Magical! I was so intrigued by your blog and the premise of your book that I went to Amazon and read the sample. I loved it! I’m wishing you a big success. 🙂

  2. Mary Hughes says:

    Welcome, Claire! What a great post. Dance is now added to the storytelling list 🙂 Love the sound of the book! I’m an introverted performer so now I’m really intrigued by Adrian/Kent 😀

  3. Claire, I loved this post and I loved What Goes on Tour! Great comparison about dancers helping with show don’t tell. 🙂
    Michelle Diener`s last blog was …Cover Reveal: A Dangerous Madness

  4. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Claire,
    Welcome to Magical Musings. 🙂 Great post! Love the title too. I wish you much success with this!
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Launch Party Winners!

  5. Nora James says:

    What a creative way to explain what Show Don’t Tell is all about, Claire! As for your book, it shows plenty without ever telling. I loved everything about it, the characters were warm and interesting, the story satisfying and entertaining. It was an absolute pleasure to read.

  6. Juanita Kees says:

    Body language speaks volumes, doesn’t it, Claire? A lovely post and beautiful way to describe show vs tell. As for What Goes on Tour – a good, strong story with warm characters and a great plot. Loved the contrast of Adrian’s true personality versus his stage persona, Kent’s. I’m looking forward to your next book 🙂
    Juanita Kees`s last blog was …Hearts N Wined – Romance WA Style

  7. Susy Rogers says:

    What a beaut post, Claire. I know exactly what you mean about being moved and inspired. I heard David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” again the other day and it was so moving that I wished I’d written it. if only I could sing or play an instrument…

  8. What a wonderful way to describe `show, don’t tell’, Claire. You’ve opened my eyes to looking at drawing comparisons between dance and writing in a new way, a way that makes perfect sense. Yet even though I’ve spent years involved in various forms of writing and dance I’d never thought of using these two art forms to clarify the meaning of ‘show, don’t tell’ in fiction for aspiring authors. I’ve read your book and found myself completely caught up in it. It’s full of heart. I’m looking forward to the sequel.

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