There an old adage in writing about ‘show don’t tell.’ I’d never heard of this personally before I started to write my first fiction book. Even when I was writing the original book about my daughter I was being told to add fiction elements to her story. I’d never understood exactly what that meant until I made my first attempt. When I submitted it for comments, I was told that it was much better but I knew I needed to go deep to really convey what I was trying to say.
One day I had an idea for a fiction book that I started to write on. Man, did I have a lot to learn. One of the main things I had to learn was to quit telling the reader everything and show it. When you show instead of tell, the reader is then able to immerse themselves into what you have written. It’s what draws them in.
“Thoreau said that there are two kinds of writing: one reports the events; the other is the event itself. This is another version of show-don’t-tell. One is at arm’s length; the other is right in your face, in your heart, in your senses. When you read the event itself, you forget that you’re reading – you’re experiencing it.” For me, the writer in the book I’ve been using for my writing prompts sums up how important it is to show what is going on. It’s what makes the story interesting.
Two summers ago I wrote the first draft of Mari’s memoir. It was pretty rough but that’s okay. I knew I had several drafts that would need to be done to get it just right. It doesn’t matter if it takes one draft or 100. I finally finished the book with edits about a month ago or so. Fortunately it didn’t take me 100 drafts, but it still did take a while. What matters is that her story is done right so that it can do what it needs to. That means it will touch people’s lives. They will be able to see that even in the greatest of tragedies God is there taking care of us. God is the one who will carry us and give us the strength we need to get through.