Part of my day job involves working with writers to help them strengthen their writing skills. Because these are most often new writers, I tend to see the same issues cropping up across the board. A couple of years ago, I wrote a post discussing a few of those issues, and now I’m back with more. Continue reading “More Newbie Writing Mistakes”
by Dale E. Lehman
You’ve heard “show, don’t tell” so much you’re sick of it. But do you know what it means? Based on numerous discussions I’ve witnessed, many writers don’t. If you can stomach one more spoonful of the subject, I’ll demystify the adage. Plus, I’ll offer a simple writing exercise for honing your showing skills. Continue reading “Real Show and Tell for Authors”
When I first sat down and put fingers to keys, full of optimism about being a writer, I looked for suggestions about how to write my first book. Any guesses what I found? The two most overused pieces of advice in writing: “Show, don’t tell,” and “Write what you know.” If writers’ groups were classic rock radio stations, those two pieces of advice would be Stairway to Heaven and Hey Jude. All good enough, as far as it went, but I didn’t even understand what they meant.
It took me quite a while to get the hang of “showing,” not “telling.” Years, honestly. I never said I was bright, or a quick study, did I? Finally, ten years later, I think I’ve got it. Instead of just “telling” my reader what happens, I put them in the scene. Make them a part of it. Give them an emotional connection to the material. What I’m not sure of is when this became the way to go. Continue reading “Some Writing Rules Should Not Be Taken Quite So Literally”
To avoid bogging down prose with overly detailed narrative, it’s important to make wise choices when we write descriptive passages in our stories. Three paragraphs describing a setting or character’s appearance is a big no-no in my book. As a reader, it will turn me off faster than grammatical errors. I know! Bad, right? So how do we create a mental picture with the minimal amount of words? Continue reading “Accessorize Your Characters: Paint a Picture with Fewer Words”