Monday, August 9, 2010

Ugh....

I got pages from a friend of mine the other day. She wants to enter her story in a writing contest or something, I'm not sure. The thing is, she sent me pages before, and after I read them I told her the same thing I'm going to tell her this time around.

SHOW DON'T TELL.

Its one of the most basic rules of writing. Long lengthy paragraphs about the scenery, every member of the protagonist's family, the exact material of clothing every single person (important to the story or not) is wearing, comma after comma separating descriptions of mythological creatures, and exactly who the bad guy is and what he wants? All in the first page?!?!?!? That's going to make any self respecting reader put down the book and grab something else.

Why? Because its boring! That's why!

Its not hard. Space out the information, dont just dump it on the first few pages like gravy on a Thanksgiving plate. Spread it out, thin the explanation to as few words as possible and explain it in dialogue! Have it happening there in the story, dont just explain what happened like an afterthought.

Your readers will continue to read as long as the story flows. If they have to pause, say "Huh?" and go back to reread the last paragraph (or in this case, the last ten pages), you're giving too much information!

SHOW! Don't Tell. Repeat it, remember it, and USE IT!

;-)

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