A little bit of Show ‘n’ Tell

So….I’ve almost finished book 3 now and I’m pretty much near where I wanted to be in terms of word count. I went back over it and realised that I’d need to put in a few more chapters to explain a few things and tie a few ends up and that, coupled with a growing realisation that I’m more of a tell-er as opposed to a show-er, got me to re-think one or two of the scenes.

Now, I know that the conventional wisdom is to show rather than tell and, for the most part, I’m good with that but I’ve noticed that so many authors drag their stories out with sooooooo much description that it does nothing but point me in the direction of the nearest sofa to get my head down for half an hour. Hands up who gives a rat’s arse what colour the sugar shaker is? Anyone care what the pattern on the carpet is? I fu#king don’t! All I care about is the story and how it engages me and whilst I can understand that some people like to flower up their prose and find clever analogies, I’d rather say that the ‘shotgun blast cut him in two.’ Doesn’t need to say how the blood matched the curtains or how ‘the spray of blood reminded him of a Jackson Pollack bestseller’. We all know what happens when someone cops a shotgun blast at close quarters, don’t we? We’ve all seen enough Arnie Schwitz-Swhazzzen- Shwartzer- that Terminator bloke- to know what happens.

So,it seems to me that the best writers have nailed the art of balancing their show ‘n’ tell and got it just about right- enough showing but not so much that I’m off for a kip. Balance is the key here ladies and gentlemen, balance. I guess that takes awareness. I’m off to become more aware.



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