Want to find out a little more about
- Bradley Beach, New Jersey
The Pine Barrens, New Jersey
Fort Hancock, New Jersey
November 2009 – Grand Central Publishing
Caterina Shaw’s only chance for survival is a highly experimental gene therapy – a risk she willingly takes. Now Caterina has new, terrifying powers and she’s been accused of a savage murder, sending her on the run. Mick Carrera is a mercenary and expert at capturing elusive prey. Yet the woman he’s hunting is wounded, vulnerable, and a mystery of medical science. Caterina’s innocent sensuality tempts Mick to show her how thrilling pleasure can be. The heat that builds between them is irresistible, but surrendering to it could kill them both.
Want to find out a little more about
|SOLDIER’S SECRET CHILD
Silhouette Romantic Suspense
|SEX AND THE SOUTH BEACH CHICAS
|SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN
Besides attending the monthly meetings of the Liberty States Fiction Writers, I have a smaller group that meets once a month at a local bookstore.
Last night we were discussing an oft-used phrase: Show, Don’t Tell.
One of my friends asked, “How do you know you are doing telling and not showing?”
My friend Anne Walradt is an expert on the subject and does a wonderful workshop on the concept. I can only offer some very basic advice and examples.
First, if you read it aloud and it sounds like a laundry list — You’re telling. An example of telling:
The alley was dark. It smelled of old garbage. There was movement at the end of the alley. It was a large man. He looked like a criminal. Fear gripped her. She ran away.
Was that interesting at all? Did you get involved in what was happening? Did you impart any of your knowledge to the scene, thereby becoming involved in the story?
If you answered “No”, then you understand what’s bad about telling rather than showing. So how you do write the above scene by showing? Here’s a shot at it:
Darkness swallowed her up as she entered the alley. Days old garbage filled a dumpster, making the air rank with the smell of decay. Shadows shifted at the end of the alley. A man stepped forward into the muted pool of light cast by a security lamp. Blue-black prison tattoos covered his arms and his face had the look of a boxer who had lost one too many fights. Her stomach clenched and a cold sweat erupted across her flesh a second before she whirled away.
A little better? Do you impart your own experience to what decay smells like? Did you wonder what the shadow was? Did the description of the man show you he was a criminal and/or trouble without telling you? How about the fear aspect? Didn’t use the word fear, but her reaction demonstrated it and you as the reader, recognized it.
That’s the biggest difference. When you show, the reader becomes involved in the story by interpreting what you are writing. With a laundry list, there’s no involvement on the part of the reader because it’s plan and simple. Of course, that does not mean that you should so confuse your reader with how you show something that they are lost.
So, that’s a very quick rundown on the concept of Show, Don’t Tell. I hope this Tuesday Tip was of help!
That big sigh of relief you heard this morning — that was me! I finished the manuscript for my November 2009 release, SINS OF THE FLESH, and sent it to my editor at Grand Central Publishing. A big woo hoo since the novel had gotten moved up in the production schedule which meant I had to finish it way earlier than expected.
Which leads to this Tuesday’s Tips about writing goals, namely, how to set them and how to keep to them.
When I first got the call about the available slot in November 2009, I thought WOO HOO which was followed by OH MY. Could I finish a book in that time frame? I asked myself which quickly led to a plan — X number of pages a week would lead me to a finished book by X date. That was the plan.
Why haven’t I given you any numbers there, like 60 pages a week? For starters, and as I tell every writer who asks me, there is only one right way to write a book — sit down and write. Whether you write one page a day or five, it’s only wrong if you’ve made a plan for yourself and don’t keep to it.
Why didn’t you keep to it? Too busy? Not in a creative mood? Unrealistic expectations? A combo of all of the above.
While I am now a firm believer that if you fail to plan you plan to fail, the most important thing to keep in mind when setting a writing goal is that your plan be reasonable. Don’t say you are going to write 5 pages a day when you know that in a typical day you only have half-an-hour to write. Unless of course you are going to find more time in that day.
How many pages should you strive to do in a day? Again, there’s no right or wrong. I generally write anywhere from 4 to 10 pages a day during my weekday commutes to my job. More on the weekends when I can get a few more hours of writing done. The key to your success is finding what you can do each week and that’s the key — committing to a reasonable weekly goal.
For example, if you know you can’t write on Mondays and Wednesdays because of family demands, set aside time on the other days and make it part of your regular schedule just like anything else. Let the family know that on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 am to 10 am, you’re writing. Stick to it. If your family sees how committed you are to your writing, they will support you. If they think you’re not serious about it, it will be difficult to get them to respect your desire to write.
Say to yourself, in those two or three days that I write this week, I want to write X pages. (A reasonable X pages remember). Before you know it, the pages will begin to pile up!
I mentioned finding more time to write. How do you do that? Well, what time do you get up now? 8? How about getting up at 7?
Do you write at night? I don’t normally, but when deadlines demand it, I come home from work and after dinner, write for another hour or so to meet the writing goal I’ve set for myself.
How about weekends? If you sleep in late on Saturday or Sunday, could you pry yourself out of bed a little earlier?
You would be surprised at how much time there is for you to get back if you think about your “lost” time each week.
Finally — find a critique or support group and tell them your goals. Tell them how you are doing on your goals and ask them to help you stick to them. As with anything else, a strong support group will help keep you motivated and moving forward.
I hope today’s Tuesday Tip helped!