One show, thirteen tells.
If I'm correct and this author begins with this much telling, I don't understand why editors frown upon beginning writers for doing the same thing.
Here's my reply:
If you analyze a published story that's similar in genre and style to your own, only to learn the number of sentences that show (i.e. state a fact such as, "She brushed her hair.") and those that tell (i.e., convey opinion/interpretation or explanation, such as, "She didn't like brushing her hair.") are roughly equal to that of your story, there are three possibilities if your work gets dinged for too much telling:
1. That particular editor/publisher (or critiquer) may not be qualified to evaluate your book.
Every type and genre of book has a different standard regarding how much showing and telling is appropriate. If the editor/publisher is applying the wrong standard to your story, maybe because he likes thrillers and your story is a romance — your story can't help but fail in comparison.
2. You might not be using high-quality telling, by which I mean carefully choosing and placing just those details that lead readers to the right conclusion. Instead, you might be restating information that's already been better communicated through dialogue, description or characters' action (i.e., She accepted the engagement ring and smiling through her tears said, "I'm so happy.")
3. The editor/publisher is looking for an excuse to reject the work for some reason outside the writer's control.
The best defense is to do as my class participant did and carefully evaluate your story based on that of a published story that's very similar. That will tell you if you're on track or need to do more/less of either.
What say you?