14 March 2011

There’s a writer’s axiom, “show, don’t tell.” In other words, paint a picture with words; let the reader see the action in his head, make the reader involved.

It’s kind of like the difference between saying, “Hey I got a new tattoo,” and describing that it’s a pretty little blue hummingbird, its wings stretched high, head pointed so that it’s looking down for the next beautiful flower to investigate.

Some things, you want to tell and not show. For instance, I don’t think you’d want me to show you Max’s latest hairball. That’s better left to telling.

Well, unless you like that sort of thing, and if you do, I don’t want to know.

Today I got the first of what will surely be 3,842 pages of noted from my editor (because, you know, she’s mean and all that) and while she overall likes the story and found few technical errors, she did think that in one particular plot point I did more telling than showing, and given that it’s an important plot point, more work needs to be done.

As I said on Twitter* earlier, I didn’t become a writer to work.

But, I can see where she’s coming from. While I may have woven a reasonable verbal tapestry, there are a couple of threads missing; I need to figure out from what parts of the story they’re missing and go back to shove them into place. And then do it without shredding anything else in the process. And make it look like those threads were there all along.

See, my editor is teh Meen. Making me actually work. Sheesh.

*Yes, I’m on Twitter. I’m just now really figuring it out. I’m also on Facebook. But that one, I am totally on board and annoy massive numbers of people on a daily basis…


Angel and Kirby said...

You will figure out all the threads and get them put together!

The Whiskeratti said...

Good luck with all that. You're right - sounds like very hard werk!

Karen Jo said...

I am very sure that you will find the missing threads and weave them in seamlessly. Actually, I am glad that your editor is Da Meen in detail, instead of just throwing the manuscript back at you and telling you that it sucks.