I usually try to have a post in earlier on a Monday morning so people have something fun (hopefully) to wake up to. Unfortunately, I got sidetracked by a story I’m writing and completely forgot. Hopefully you will forgive me and feel slightly sympathetic. I have over 20,000 words in approximately three days and spent the weekend bleary-eyed, typing furiously. It is amazing how tiring it can be to sit all day doing relatively nothing but typing. Crazy, I felt like a slug. I digress although today’s post does have something to do with the writing I mentioned (go figure).
I had started writing this story, and I was boring myself. This, as I’m sure you know, is NOT a good sign. It’s more like a death knell. I was a bit saddened and questioning my abilities (not to say that I don’t still question them) when all of a sudden it hit me. What is “it”? Most likely nothing extraordinary to the majority of writers. You have probably all heard “show don’t tell” when it comes to writing. For me, this is not easily translated to the page. I’m a hands-on, visual learner so I usually need to see examples (before and after). Suddenly though while I was walking into my kitchen, I thought of a completely different approach to my story. My whole focus shifted to a different character and when I began to tell things from his perspective, it became much more exciting. It was exactly what I needed to try and jar me out of my typical writing style as well….”he/she did this/that and then x happened.” Lame. So instead my characters began leaping, whirling, stomping and all sorts of other interesting actions. Writing that way is particularly difficult because, I have to admit, I am a lover of adverbs. Nothing makes me bite into a book more than fun adverbs like quickly, ferociously, rapidly. For the sake of better writing, however, I have to eschew such fun adverbs and just tell it like it is, as though I myself were the character experiencing things. Ooh…epiphany happening.
If I think like my characters, I’ll be more apt to “show” through my own senses, which will engage the reader more!! Haha! I could also end up with a multiple personality disorder, but hey, more fodder for writing. Thank you all for bearing with my spontaneous revelation. I have continually struggled with how to apply the “show don’t tell” in a way which makes sense to me. Needless to say, when my story became more exciting, I kept writing. I wish I had the ability to stay awake and not worry about anything else until the story is done. That would be PHENOMENAL! So, I’m actually looking forward to editing my first draft of this story once I can get it completed. Cutting out large portions of it will tighten up the writing and hopefully cause me to do more “showing” and less telling. Leave the narrator out, basically. So I’m excited, and even if you are all rolling your eyes thinking “duh!”, I just wanted to share my happiness with everyone!