It has to be the single most common piece of writing advice there is: “Show, don’t tell.” And yet so many of the unpublished stories I read demonstrate that their authors don’t understand it. And honestly, that’s not surprising, because taken literally it’s utter nonsense.
Writing is, by definition, telling. You’re speaking to your reader through words, not pictures. So how the heck are you supposed to do anything but tell them things?
Here’s the secret: yes, all writing is telling. But by choosing what it is you tell your reader, and how you tell it, you can create a vastly more enjoyable reading experience.
Continue reading “Why “show, don’t tell” is nonsense – and why it’s important anyway”
A couple of years ago, at the height of the craze for such things, a couple of people gave me adult colouring books for Christmas. They were beautiful things, full of intricate spirals and minutely detailed images, each one a blank canvas open to a thousand possibilities for filling it with glorious colour.
And my first thought was, What if I get it wrong?
Continue reading “Colouring books and creative anxiety”
As an emerging writer, I spend a decent amount of time seeking out and absorbing advice from established writers. Two of the most common tidbits I have come across in my trawling are:
- Forget other people – write for yourself; and
- Write as if your audience was anyone but yourself.
Continue reading “Who are you writing for, anyway?”