Once upon a time, there was a self-publishing podcast from which sprung the Facebook group The Smarter Artist. To create a platform where indie-writers could meet like-minded editors, a bunch of editors within this group of writers created the spin-off group The Smarter Artist Editors. Long story short, a dedicated few started a weekly thread sharing editing tips with the community, and we’re now ready to share these tips with the world.
Today, I’m sharing a tip from myself.
Does it surprise you that most of us editors are so caught up in NaNoWriMo that we don’t even remember which day of the week it is? I thought so…
Recently, a writing buddy of mine asked me about ‘Show, don’t tell’ and whether I had some solid, concrete tips to get it right, preferably during the first draft.
My initial advice was to not try too hard to get ‘Show, don’t tell’ right during the first draft, because it will end up slowing you down and making you go back to improve the writing on the spot.
For me, the first draft is the perfect spot to just tell instead of show, because that’s what you’re doing: getting the story out there on paper or the screen. It’s not yet about the way in which you tell the story, it’s about the story itself. Once the story is there and you go over it again, that’s when you look at HOW you told the story and in what ways you can improve it.
By all means, this is how I write, so if there’s anyone out there who shows instead of tells during the first draft and does it consistently, please let us all know how to tackle this particular issue.
For those who could use some straightforward tips, I found this immensely helpful article: Ten Tips To Help You Avoid Telling Writing. I especially appreciate Tip 8, because that is something I see a lot in my editing work.
Is ‘Show, don’t tell’ a struggle for you? Or did you master the art a long time ago?