Monday, February 25, 2013

Show & Tell

I'm struggling right now with showing and not telling. I have this whole world built up in my head, with a constitution (no amendments, it was done right the first time), and a social order, and a judicial system, and castes and... and everything. It's all there, in my head and scribbled into my notebooks interspersed in scenes. I already know that the best way to get this information across is to do it slowly, in bits and pieces as the reader moves through the novel. This is easier said than done.

I'm also having difficulty with being a lady, and not showing too much. Just because the information isn't part of a three-page expositional word-vomit (new phrase!), that doesn't mean that it's suddenly okay. As I go through and make my revisions, I find myself highlighting and deleting one and two paragraphs at a time - yes, just one and two. They're these little gems of information that put the characters into more of a context, but this isn't a history textbook, this is a novel.

My response to this is to go through and find new places to put more action and dialog. I'm not talking about using dialog to tell this same information, but to put more actual action into the pages. Right now the characters are shackled by my own world building, so really, these revisions are a rescue mission to save my novel from early burial.

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