blogging, editing, Literary critique, Stories, Uncategorized, world-building, Writers Co-op, Writers Co-op Anthology, writing technique

An Interesting Thing about Writing

Show, Don’t Tell?
Show, is writing that allows the reader to experience the story through action, words, thoughts, senses, and feelings. This is generally more interesting than telling a story through exposition, summarization, and description. The best explanation I know is from Anton Chekhov who wrote, “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

Obviously, we must consider Chekhov’s advice. There is a crater on the planet Mercury named after him. But, what does it mean? To me, it means the end of lazy writing. The writer should take that extra step into the story. Don’t just say, Auggie Anderson is blind. Step into Auggie’s world and see him feeling for a bench with a white cane.

That said, I’m currently reading through 71 short stories that have been submitted for the Writer’s Co-op 2019 Anthology, The Rabbit Hole, Vol. 2. And, the best story so far is tell! Not show. Yup. The author is telling a story. But so well written, that the action, words, thoughts, senses, and feelings are all there! It held my interest all the way through because the story is interesting.

So, what’s a writer to do? When I think of the stories I really like, they stand out because they are interesting. I may or may not remember that the story is original or well written. But I know a story that is memorable to me and to many others is always an interesting one.

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4 thoughts on “An Interesting Thing about Writing

  1. mimispeike says:

    A well-rounded approach is ideal. Enough description to anchor you in a time and place. Enough action to move you along. Enough interior to flesh out the character. I am way more interested in what a character thinks about an event than in the event itself. I struggle with physical description and lean too heavily on snappy dialogue. Charles Reade’s gorgeous description, I adore it. I don’t see my world with that clarity, and I regret it.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. mimispeike says:

    It is not possible to avoid a good deal of explanation when your setting is a historical one. I am now on a short history of the Dominicans, that will make what shortly transpires between a former whore and her former client somewhat plausible. I say this information is useful.

    But I continually second-guess my choices, and it’s exhausting.

    Liked by 1 person

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