It’s Progress

Last night was another progressive work session. I cut 1,000 words of useless content and then added double that fleshing out telling sections.

It’s not that I don’t EVER like to write in a telling format. Sometimes it’s useful, but most of the time it disconnects the reader from the story. I know that’s how I feel when I’m in the role of reader.

The scenes I focused on last night were battle scenes. When I reread them, the scenes felt more like a dictation or debriefing report. That is so not what I want the reader to feel. I want them to feel like they, themselves, are going through the battle. I want them to forget the main character is Nettie and start thinking [insert readers name here] is the main character.

Example:

…The bent metal cut into Nettie, causing pain

The last part of the sentence is telling, but the scene really calls for a connected experience. I needed to show how and what kind of pain Nettie felt. I want to make it obvious and real to the reader.

Solution (for me):

…The bent metal tore into Nettie’s arm. She winced, biting back a scream. Her eyes watered as the pain shot through her forearm and up to her shoulder. Warm blood pooled at the ripped flesh then ran off, dripping onto her flight suit…

When you’ve finished your draft and start the revision phase, take a look and see what you’re telling versus what you’re showing. Then ask yourself if it’s the right format for the scene. You might find the story more enriching when you’re done.

Good writing all!

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