I am currently doing a few editing run-throughs of my novellas targeting some very specific problems relating to “show vs. tell”. Yes, this is a huge topic and many words have been written about it, but I just want to talk a little bit about what I am specifically targeting right now.
There may be technical names for the various types of “telling”. I’m not sure. There are two variations that I am looking at, though I will mention a third as well. Here is an example of the first:
The sun was bright causing a blinding glare from the desert. John was hot, tired and thirsty. He knew that if he didn’t find shelter soon that he would most likely die.
Yeah, not great writing, but that is not the problem. I could dress this up and try hiding the “tell” quality in a fancy wrapper, but if it basically boils down to, “the sun was bright, it is hot and John I tired,” it is pure “tell”. A possible solution might be: Continue reading
When I first started this blog I did a series of writing exercises. Every now and again I do more. I’m not talking about just following the various challenges, like Friday Fictioneers or Sue’s #writephoto, I am talking about experimenting. As anyone who read the story I posted yesterday, Honor, knows, I am doing a bit of experimentation again. This time it was triggered by the Ursula K. Le Guin’s book Steering the Craft, which I received for Christmas.
Point of View (POV) and tense are two big choice any writer has to make when starting a story. They are also areas that are very easy to screw up. Before i started a blog, I spent some time over at the forums on Writer’s Digest and found that people were very militant with POV. Pretty much only first person and limited third person from a single person was acceptable. There could be no changes whatsoever in any work. One POV, solid like granite. Continue reading
So I was doing a last run through of my short stories and got to the last story and stopped. I had worried about it before but then decided it would be fine. I’m not so sure now.
The story is based on the lyrics of a well known song. There isn’t really much of a story in the song itself while my story is complex and might have bit of magic. Maybe. Very, very different from any story in the song itself. And yet, it is there. I never quote whole lines of the song (except a couple of key words here and there) and usually just paraphrased the song. At the end of the story I give the song writers credit. Before I put in that credit tag I had someone say they loved the story but there were too many cute cliches. I told them the song I used, they went back, read it and laughed – that is were the cliches came from! Continue reading
When you read a story here on Trent’s World, you are usually reading an unedited first draft. Well, maybe not 100% unedited – I usually will take a quick read-through and correct the most obvious mistakes, but it is almost always a first draft. And you know what? I’m fine with that. This is not a literary magazine and most people reading the stories enjoy them. If I spent the time to get them all “publish ready”, I would have posted closer to 20 stories than 200.
I am bringing this up now because I am in the process of doing another read-through of the short stories that will be included in my short story collection. Continue reading
Listen to the wolf. Do you hear what it’s saying? Can you hear the loneliness and the longing? No, really listen. Do you hear it? In its howls it is singing a song, a song to the Moon.
The Moon is for wanting. The Moon is for longing. The wolf knows. Look at her up there, so beautiful but always out of reach. She’s like a long dead lover. She still tugs on your heart but you can feel no warmth from her touch. But then, the sun may touch you with his hot fingers, but he can also burn and torture. You don’t have to worry about being burned by that dead lover, the Moon.
And yet she is so alive, so much in the present, the keeper of time. Her silver fingers tickle your upturned face, her serene beauty tickles your upturned heart. She is always there for you, smiling down for you and you alone. Continue reading