The Kind of Showing That's Hard for Me
First - have you entered my birthday giveaway? I'm sending a signed (by as many as half a dozen people) copy of the group novel "Delivered." Click here to enter and for more info.Those of you who are writers know that one of the cardinal rules of good prose is "show - don't tell." You can probably find dozens of explanations of exactly what this means, but in a nutshell, the rule is this: describe what is going on, with detail, instead of simply stating it.
Showing: "Sarah plodded into the room, her eyes drooping. She yawned and stretched, trying to focus on finding her bed."
People are more invested in, more interested in, your characters if they see what they are doing and know how they are feeling. Showing like this is the mark of a good writer, especially of fiction. (Journalists don't deal with this much. Just the facts, yanno?)
Generally, I would say I'm pretty good at descriptions and showing the action in my writing. I enjoy getting into my characters' heads and sharing their experiences, struggles, thoughts and secrets. It's part of the writing process that I enjoy.
You see, just recently, a dear friend who happens to be editing my nonfiction manuscript had a word with me about showing and telling. Basically, the words were not enough of the former and too much of the latter.
I puzzled over this for a while, until I realized why I wasn't describing events and emotions as much as I generally do.
Because they were MY events, and MY emotions.
But if I'm going to share the hope and encouragement God gave me through this experience, I have to share the struggles He lifted me from. I have to show the pain, so I can show the healing. If I am going to reach people with the nourished soul God created in my husband's ailing body, they have to feel what I felt.
So, with God's help, I'm gonna go against my natural tendency to put the tough stuff under my skin, and put it out there more on the page. I will go through the emotions again - live it again - so I can SHOW my readers my weakness, and God's power.
Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence