Monday, March 16, 2009

Working on My Craft

I'm trying to be a better writer. I think I've come a long way for someone who has only been doing this three and a half years. But I'm having a hell of a time getting over the "show vs. tell" hurdle. I am a fairly intelligient guy, and I usually catch on to stuff pretty easily, but this one is tough. And it drives me crazy. It used to be more acceptable to tell a story, but now you have to show it. And my natural voice for storytelling is just that- storytelling. So what can I do but try to change the way I am?


  1. Hey Steven,

    I know this is a tricky one for you. I'm torn when it comes to giving you advice on this matter. On on hand, I'm a realist. And in today's publishing market, it may be much harder for you with your "tell" style. On the other hand, I'm loathe to advise a writer to change their voice, their natural style.

    In the end, if the more old-fashioned telling voice suits you- then I would stick with that. Make the best of your natural voice. Work with what you have. Make *your* voice and style the best it can be.

  2. Good advice, we've talked at length on this matter, and you've been very helpful. What I hope to do is evolve my voice as I improve my writing. I won't lose anything by it, and will gain a world of endless possibility.

  3. And that's the best attitude you can have. :)

  4. Hi Steven. I think there is a lot of BS spoken on this subject. Check out Keith Snyder. He has a great post of "show vs tell" where he points out that telling is just as valid as showing. Sometimes it's better. Depends on the context. But if you really need to inject some "showing" into a story/scene, I would just write it your own way, then read it back and ask yourself: "is there an opportunity anywhere in this passage to rewrite so as to engage the reader better (by showing)?"