Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Guess What? It's IWSG Time.

Brain Child of Alex J. Cavanaugh




The awesome co-hosts for the January 4 posting of the IWSG will be Eva @ Lillicasplace, Crystal Collier, Sheena-kay Graham, Chemist Ken, LG Keltner, and Heather Gardner!

I think I'm more exhausted than insecure this month. While I took some time away from social media, I packed the hours with a road trip, lots of cooking and family gatherings. With so many events back-to-back insecurity slipped a notch on my list of concerns. 

However, it's still there lurking and waiting to trip me up. 

Here are the two areas that have me up tight:

I'm testing out a new blog format to see if 1) I can actually do it, and 2) if anyone will care enough to read it.

I'm ready to plunge into draft #2 of the last book in my Pete Riley trilogy, but I'm still not happy with some of it.


Question: What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

I absolutely hate show don't tell. I'm a storyteller and I like to tell stories. Some of the best books ever written "tell" a story. So leave me alone with the telling. 

Want to see what others in this group are saying about their insecurity and how they answer this question? Here's your chance.


45 comments:

  1. Good luck with the new blog format! I've enjoyed reading your blog as it evolved over the years.

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  2. New year, new blog format. Go for it.
    Happy 2017!

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  3. This is about the third time I've seen this rule this morning. It can be despicable.

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  4. That is a good example of a bad rule! I say kick it aside and do what you do best! :)

    Happy 2017!

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  5. I'm surprised at how many writers hate this rule. But I'm happy, because I hate it too! What ever happened to "Once upon a time..."? I hear that and I'm sitting forward instantly. Happy New Year, Lee. Best to you in 2017!

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  6. Happy New Year, Lee!
    Yes, you have got your plate full but you can do it. As for show don't tell, that is one rule that disturbs me because when I ask what does it mean very few teachers can tell me.
    Wishing you an awesome 2017.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

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  7. Good luck with the second draft - and tell it your way ;-) Happy writing.

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  8. This year, I'm trying a few different things out with my blog, too, and I sure hope they work.

    Good luck with your blogging and second draft!

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  9. Happy writing Lee, also with your blog.
    Happy 2017:

    Yvonne.

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  10. I can totally understand your exhaustion. Take care! Good luck with revision 2. I'm sure you'll figure out some amazing solutions.

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  11. I don't like that rule either.

    Somehow our December became overwhelming and I'm going to try to avoid that this year.

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  12. Good luck with the new format. People will come. :)

    I've seen a lot of show don't tell show up today.

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  13. Let the new format flow. Pffft tell can work just as well. Dumb rule indeed.

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  14. Can't believe how many people hate that show and tell rule today! Glad you had some fun times during the holidays. Me too. And I just joined IWSG.

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  15. Yes, that's a good 'rule' to highlight - and one that other people have mentioned as well. A book with purely showing would probably be horrendous to read. I was given the advice to show more in a recent novel, but I really wasn't happy with the result - and neither was the advice-giver, in the end :-(

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  16. The show don't tell rule is a pet peeve of mine too. I've since learned and strive to find a healthy balance of showing and telling.

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  17. Rules were made to be broken.
    This avid reader is fond of rule breakers.
    And I hope your exhaustion is receding.

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  18. I used to dislike the "show, don't tell" adage as well, but then I figured out what it really means. Now I think it's the most important concept for a storyteller to master.

    "Showing" doesn't mean you must describe everything visually. It doesn't mean you have to make every character clench his fists and gnash his teeth to demonstrate that he's angry. It actually means you have to provide solid evidence of a character's thoughts and emotions through his actions, to allow readers to come to their own conclusions about him.

    "Telling" is spoon-feeding readers exactly what they're supposed to think and feel about a character or event. For example, telling is declaring to readers that a hero is very smart, instead of letting them cheer when he outwits his enemies. It's declaring to readers that a heroine's mission is very dangerous, instead of letting them bite their nails when she gets stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    If we want readers to invest themselves emotionally in a story, we need to "show, not tell." Those classic books that seem to tell everything are probably showing on the sly; otherwise nobody would feel anything when they read them.

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  19. Telling is fine, but it lacks the immersion element. Personally, I prefer to be immersed in a story and thus feel it's my obligation as an author to create that experience for others.

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  20. Show not tell is always more a guideline than a rule. If we don't tell a little bit, the reader gets lost.

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  21. I was very hesitant to send my chapter out to my very first crit partner because I was afraid she'd return my pages with "too much telling" written all over it. Turned out I wasn't nearly as bad at it as I thought.

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  22. I'm with you on the telling rule.
    Happy New Year!!!

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  23. I feel you on the exhaustion. Drove down to Mississippi to visit family for Christmas and when we got back, needed time off to recoup.

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  24. Hope you feel rested soon. Looking forward to your next book and hope all flows smoothly.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  25. Good luck with the new blog format and working on draft 2! I kinda hate the "show don't tell" rule, too. I think if something works or doesn't, it usually depends on the voice. Maybe that voice likes to tell a bit. So what?

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  26. Now you see, I'm a storyteller, too. The key is that we don't "show" ALL the time. But still it can become tedious.

    All the best to you in 2017!

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  27. Most famous writers combine Show and Tell. You're in good company.

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  28. I think "show, don't tell" only works in certain instances. Not every rule should hard or fast. :)

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  29. The biggest writers in the world tell, tell, tell. They hardly show me anything. It moves the story along at a clip. Telling has received a bad rap. We need some, just like we need the occasional showing. Off my soapbox now!

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  30. Yes - let's burn show don't tell in effigy. I'll bring the matches.

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  31. I'm sorry, but "show, don't tell" is my mantra. I've recently discovered that when a book just doesn't read right to me (it feels "undercooked"), it's because the author told me things rather than showed me.

    But there's a season for everything. I think we have to tell at the beginning. And you can't show it all.

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  32. I never really understood this rule. Then again I barely understood any writing rule. I could never wrap my head around trying to explain something without my voice in it. Showing a story was almost like listing a bunch of items. While telling a story was the dramatic voice one uses to entertain masses. How can you use one without the other and expect a story to take place. Even with just straight telling you can easily lose a person.

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  33. I am so with you on show don't tell. We must "tell" some of the time. And I say, let go and trust your instincts. You can't go wrong.

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  34. Hi, Lee...

    YAY!!!! I agree... TELLING a story is what it's all about..... Once upon a time.... Those will always be my absolute favs.....

    Happy New Year, Lee... wishing you all the best!

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  35. I think of it as a balance of both. What kills me is when a beta reader calls me on it. That always hurts. :-)

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  36. Yup, it is storyTELLER isn't it, not storySHOWER. And the rules are much stricter when writing for children than for adults. Adult writers can get away with a lot more rule breaking. No fair!

    Happy New Year, Lee.

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  37. I'm still getting over the holidays, too. i think/hope that by Monday, I'll be good to go. Happy 2017!

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  38. Hey superstar author, Lee,

    Guess what? Oh yeah, it's "IWSG" time aka "I Was Seeking Gary", time! Yay and good gosh!

    I can relate to exhausted. All the best with your new blog format.

    I plunged into a new draft and the breeze has not woken me up.

    When I actually get around to writing, I am writing to the one person who stumbled upon my writing. I never write to an audience.

    What are rules in writing?

    Wishing you an adventurous, happy 2017, Lee.

    Penny's fictional human,

    Gary

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  39. I love stories, keep telling them!

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  40. Good luck with the new format - I know it will be great! And best of luck with the draft as well.

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  41. Happy New Year, Lee!
    Looking forward to the new blog format.
    Show don't tell is quite stressful...LOL

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  42. Wow, not surprised at all you've been feeling exhausted lately. Best of luck with that new blog format and the latest draft of your book! Hope you start feeling more pleased with the latter soon...

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  43. Good luck with recovery! I think there must have initially been some validity to show don't tell, but then it got out of control. It's a pain the booty, for sure.

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  44. Isn't it nice to be so busy you forget to be insecure? I'm hoping to apply that principle to the year ahead. When I start fretting or worrying, I'll take it as a cue to get to work!

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  45. Funny that we both wrote about the same rule! I think showing's is important, but no more important than judicious telling. Good luck with the new Pete Riley book. I haven't written in 9 months. Promo-ing and social media must be cut back or I'll never write again...

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