Wednesday, October 28, 2009
T IS FOR TELL
Continuing with the Author ABCs...
We writers get all sorts of advice, and some of is even good. But it can also us astray.
For instance, the whole bit about action, how we've got to get in there and hook our reader, and keep things happening so they'll keep turning the pages.
Well, one of the biggest things I had to work on in revisions of LEAVING GEE'S BEND was too much action, not enough breathing space. Which is where the "tell" part of writing comes in. So my readers wouldn't be overwhelmed by all that action, so they would be able to process it and not feel like they were on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. I mean a wild ride is great and all, but you've got to take time afterward to recover. Use this space to tell the reader how your character is feeling, what they're thinking, what they see, hear, touch, taste. This is every bit as important as showing.
And it brings to mind something else on my Bucket List: take a class on storytelling. The verbal art of engaging people in a story. I want to be able to do that. Meanwhile, I'll keeping listening to Kathryn Tucker Windham. Her CD "God was Just Practicing When He Made Men" is one of my all-time favorites.