Saturday, February 13, 2010

Subtle Much?

How fine the line between telling and showing. From the editing today, the opening sentence of a chapter:

Tell: Writing fifty-two hundred letters takes a long time.

Show: Writing fifty-two hundred letters took a long time.

And that's still telling, when you think about it. I could show every minute of it and bore you to death. It's narrative summary rather than immediate scene, which is always more tell-y. But it gets the story down the road and gets the writer out of it.

Part of the reason I find present tense a bit icky, I'm sure. That and reading way, way too many screenplays.

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