Writer's Blog

Dear writer: please don't TELL us, SHOW us

I am sometimes asked to read other writers' work and to offer a critique. Generally, their storyline moves along. BUT while these authors probably have a clear idea in their heads of the appearance of their characters, their surroundings and the locations in which they move, we are not mind readers. We may be told that a character is 'beautiful' another is 'amusing' or that a room is 'badly decorated', a birth is 'long and difficult' or, again, that the countryside is 'unfriendly' THIS IS JUST NOT ENOUGH. We need pictures painted for us, specific details, tellingactions or dialogue that reveals every character as an individual. Otherwise the story remains on a two dimensional level and worst of all, does not hook the reader. Showing rather than telling demands much more work so that we 'see' the characters, the locations, understand them by the way they behave. The reward will be that your reader 'feels they are there.'

WRITERS ARE POACHERS

I'm sure you've had the advice: 'write about what you know' and sometimes thought that can be quite limiting. But if you widen your horizons you'll realise that you 'know' a great deal more than you imagined. Writers like D.H. Lawrece poached without any guilt on the experiences and stories other people told him. The French writer Colette's characters were often based on people she knew. so cleverly did she do it that they never realised she was writing about THEM.So, keep a notebook and jot down snippets and stories people tell you. You don;t have to copy them slavishly but they will expand your range of 'what you know.'

My Blog

Contact Me

I am based in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex

Tel: 07599 813820

Email: info@jenniferpulling.co.uk

 

Writers Workshops

Unleash your imagination at one of my forthcoming workshops, beginners welcome, I take an organic approach which encourages the writer to sift through experience and allow it to compost in the imagination.... read more

Sponsor a Cat

Thank you for supporting Catsnip - your continued support and good wishes enable us to help so many unwanted cats and kittens left to fend for themselves on the streets of Sicily.... read more