Thursday, March 26, 2009
SHOW DON'T TELL
I've worked most of the day editing. That used to be my least favorite thing to do. However, ever since I read Donald Maass books, I see editing differently. When you are writing, the first time, you pour your heart out. I am usually so excited, because I don't know what's going to happen next. There are times I have trouble keeping up with the typing, my mind is flowing so quickly.I'm surprised at how one idea will take a new twist. The protagonist does something uncharacteristic. Wow, what a surprise. I continue to be surprised and guessing all the way to the end. Then comes the editing. I think Stephen King's formula is 2nd draft=1st Draft-10%. My writing coach gave me so many tips today. My head is still floating. I read just the other day, from another editor, different manuscript to go back through and remove all the "that" ('s) in the manuscript. She said we don't need them! Imagine my surprise, when she was right. Today, my coach reminds me to "show, don't tell". Years ago, too many to count, my English professor at Ohio State gave me the same advice. You'd think I would have learned. The next few weeks, my nose will be against the keyboard. Editing and re-writing what I thought was already perfect. Guess I was wrong.