If you’ve ever been in any kind of high-school-esque creative writing class, you’ll have undoubtedly heard the age-old adage of “Show, don’t Tell.”
Which is both great and not-so-great, really. It may be relied on a little bit too much (and that’s more a matter of personal opinion than anything else), but at it’s core, it’s actually some pretty solid advice.
So: what exactly are showing and telling, and how do they affect the stories we tell?
It’s important that the reader knows what’s happening in your story, right? Of course, it’s also important that the reader knows the backstory. There’s a thin line, however, between telling the reader what they need to know and overloading them with so much information and backstory that they become bored and give up on your story and the characters in it.
How to avoid this? Easy. Manage the infodump.
Hey, guys. So I really wanted to get back in the swing of things this weekend, but there’s been a bit of a change of plans on my end of things, and so I’m not going to be able to liveblog my return. That doesn’t mean, however, that I’m postponing it—I’m just going to putting these posts on a queue.
I won’t be making these posts tonight, due to the fact that I’m going to be busy. I’ll probably make them either early Friday or Friday night. Regardless, I will be making and queuing them so that they’ll be up on here before Sunday/Monday night at the latest.
Either way, I just wanted to let you know what was going on. As always, have a great day/night, whichever applies
(As a side note, if you have some time to kill, there’s an awesome thing going on over here: http://bit.ly/O2ZoXT
It’s called Interrogation Thursdays, and it’s hosted by FYCD. It’s basically a time wherein the awesome and lovely mods over at FYCD ask questions that help writers delve more deeply into the kind of people their characters are (and in some cases, these questions actually help with more than just characters. They’re working the tag “Character Qs”. I’m actually not going to be taking part this Thursday, but I may do so next week, depending on how busy I actually am. Just wanted to highlight a pretty awesome thing happening now.)
Oh, where to begin?
The Book Festival was so much fun! I went with a few friends, and we got some lunch before we actually went to the festival. Once we got there, we realized how huge the Festival was (It was, literally, almost the entire length of the Washington Mall). We spent some time milling about at the different tents, and then we went to the book sales tent, because I wanted to see if I could buy a John Green book and then maybe try to get it signed. They didn’t have any John Green books, so we just went to the line because it was getting close to the end of the time he was going to be signing books for—but by the time we got there, the line had been closed off for almost an hour and a half (even though he was scheduled to sign from 11AM to around 2:30 or 3:00, some people had been waiting since 8AM). So we just settled to the side and took a few pictures of John, and we talked with a few people before going back and walking around. We went back to the book sales tent, and I got the 2013 Writer’s Market. By this time, the heat had started to get to us all, and I felt like I was going to faint on the street, so we opted to go to the Natural History museum (it was close, it had air conditioning, and it had water fountains, so that became our goal). We saw the Hope Diamond, which was pretty awesome, and then we walked around until we left.
On the way down to DC, I actually started to re-read the Hobbit, which I’m really happy about because I’ve been wanting to re-read that for a while. It’s going to be exciting to see how Peter Jackson and co. have adapted it; from what I’ve seen of the production blogs it looks fantastic.
I should be able to start posting regularly again on Thursday, but I have a lot of reading to keep up with (plus I need to go to some plays at my school for my class and such), so there’s also the slim possibility that I won’t be able to. Either way, I’ll let you know.
Have an amazing day/night, whichever applies! :]
So summer’s flown by like the bats from the belfry, and now I’m back at school.
It’s been awhile. I’ve been trying to figure out the ideal schedule for updating this blog (and I mean with original content, and not just reblogs and the like), and while I don’t fully have a concrete idea of when this will happen, I’m planning on making it Tuesday and Saturday. I might have to experiment with this scheduling once my classes actually start, to make sure it’s the most auspicious timing and all, considering my workload, but as of now Tuesdays and Saturdays seem like the best time for scheduled posts.
I’m also trying to get back into the rhythm of writing daily, just because I haven’t been doing so lately. I’ve been thinking of the grand scheme of my main project and I realized I’m going to have to work a little bit on the details of the story—I have the main idea and I know some of what I want to happen during the course of the story, but beyond that I need to tweak some things and rework some more. Which, in a way, is good; if I knew everything about the story I’d had no motivation to write it, probably.
Expect some posts soon. I have class today and I need to get some things sorted, but I might be able to write a post today or tomorrow.
So I just had this nice and beautiful post, and even though I clicked “Publish Post” it wasn’t posted and I accidentally pressed “Refresh” and then the Tumbl-bot ate half of it.
I’m going to see if I can remember what I had.
Day 3 of the April Platform Challenge was to create a Facebook profile or fan page for my work; however as I am not entire sure how to go about doing this I have elected to postpone doing so until I can figure out the logistics and the like.
The challenge for Day 4 was to create a Twitter account. (I already had one over at www.twitter.com/jfhart_blog.)
The challenge for Day 5 was to create a blog, which fairly obviously has already happened.
SUPER-IMPORTANT AUTHOR’S NOTE:
So this is the bit I’m trying to remember; if I forgot anything I apologize, but it should still all be here.
Due to my scheduling, I’ve been forced to choose to either put this blog on a hiatus (most likely only for a few days), or to queue up some posts to be posted intermittently while I take care of some non-blog-related business, while at the same time catching up on the April Platform Challenge.
I’ve chosen queueing over hiatus, but due to my workload, I cannot actually create the posts to be queued up tonight, and they may not be ready tomorrow. Also some of the Challenges are things that will not be able to be queued. I’ll keep you guys informed on the situation with that.
Just a forewarning, though: During my Finals Week I will not be posting live, and so I may also be queuing some posts for you then, so I’m not just going on a full blackout of the entire blog.
That’s all I can remember for now. I’ll see if I can post to here later, or perhaps tomorrow.
Have a fantastic day/night (whichever applies)! Hope the week ahead is wonderful!
It’s an undeniable fact about me: I love The Lord of the Rings. If not number one, then this series is a seriously strong contender for one of my favorite movie series. I’ve seen the movies more times than I can count, and I can rattle off trivia and facts pertaining to the most trivial of things. Of course, though, the movies were based on the incredible trilogy of novels written by the one and only J.R.R. Tolkien.
Believe me when I say it’s hard to say that up until recently I had actually not truly sat down and read the entire trilogy; I attempted to in high school, but school and life and reality teamed up just around the middle of The Two Towers and so I reluctantly put the books down.
When I decided recently to actually sit down and read the trilogy, I did not know what I had in store for me. I knew that the story was very different from the movies, and I was eager to see how these differences affected the mood and tone of the work as a whole.
There’s one particular passage I want to talk about today. It’s from Chapter 6 (Lothlórien).
“‘Here is the heart of Elvendom on Earth,’ he [Aragorn] said, ‘and here my heart dwells ever, unless there be a light beyond the dark roads that we still must tread, you and I. Come with me!’ And taking Frodo’s hand in his, he left the hill of Cerin Amroth and came there never again as a living man.”
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien (chapter 6, page 416)
This kind of language, of phrasing, is exactly what I had hoped for. Even taken out of context there’s still a kind of power that lingers on in those words. The words directly preceding it, though, naturally serve to amplify this power. Just before this quote is a description of the view that Aragorn and Frodo see from the top of Cerin Amroth; this truly is a beautiful place, and one gets the impression that a life spent within the reaches of this land, as the Elves of Lothlórien do spend their lives, would not be a terrible one, but instead beautiful and relaxed, free from turmoil, hate, and the evil that spreads from Mordor.
(There are some spoilers in the following paragraph, for those who haven’t read the book or seen the movies.)