I am kaitco

a writer's log

When the “show” needs a “tell” Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:58 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I realized with this latest spurt of writing that I’ve focused so wholly on not over-telling my story that the reason the novel will easily surpass 200K words is because I’ve shown just about every facet of the story instead of relenting to some tell every once in a while.

This realization only came to light when I found myself telling some back story for the first time in my memory of writing Damen and I found it very awkward to create. It was almost as if I was doing something wrong by explaining Damen’s relationship and views of his cousins and it occurred to me while writing tonight that perhaps I’ll need to practice the fine art of light “telling” here or there to make sure I’ve not unnecessarily run some 100K words outside of a first-time publishable budget just because I fear to tell.

I wrote 299 words tonight (part of some teenaged rite of passage instead); I would have kept going, but I’d like to be on time for once this week…

The goal over these next couple days will be to tell when necessary, but also know when to stop. I don’t remember having such an issue with show and tell while writing Flight, but then again, Flight was four years and a degree ago and my writing’s changed drastically since then. On to tomorrow’s writing endeavours…

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One Response to “When the “show” needs a “tell””

  1. hannahkarena Says:

    I think reflection as a telling-tool is really important in both fiction and non-fiction. Hope you’re successful in finding the balance between showing and telling!


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