[identity profile] mercury-hall.livejournal.com

A little snippet from the first section of prose in the Tal'verse. I have no idea if this is staying the way it is. It's a little rambling on purpose, to highlight how young he is, but also I feel like I'm not really getting where I need to with it. It seems to make sense to me, but I know the whole plot so I don't think that really counts. So it would be really helpful if you tell me what you got out of it so I can make sure it's working...


http://mercury-hall.livejournal.com/8688.html
[identity profile] justnyxie.livejournal.com
I have been a long time lurker on here and finally got up the courage to post. 
This is a short extract from my new project (yet to be named). Long story short, it's about a serial killer and his house mate. I won't give away any more because, really, you don't need it.

All I ask is that you glance over this, give me your suggestions (grammer, characters etc) and comment. I am pleased with it but not entirely happy. It is only a draft, and I am determined to finish it, but it would be lovely to get some opinions and advice.
 

"Delightful. I suppose I owe you a thank you for not turning me away?" )
[identity profile] mercury-hall.livejournal.com
I was reading about the biggest serial killers (I'm heavily interested in criminal psychology) and when reading the chapter on Son of Sam, I was inspired to write a story. If you don't know, Son of Sam was a prolific serial killer in New York who targeted couples. He wrote to the newspapers as well, and one journalist, Jimmy Breslin started a column and wrote back. I decided to take this idea and create a longer and more personal correspondence from the newspaper.

My serial killer is named James Handen. I changed my journalist to just an advice columnist rather than someone who gets the stories etc. Her name is Annabelle Bailey (and her column is "Dear Annabelle").

Okay, so I put what I have so far in the best order I have for now. The first three letters in this entry are in exact order, and the rest of them are chronological but with a lot of space in between them.

Dear Annabelle )

And from here the letters are spaced out widely on a vague timeline...

Once upon a time )

I looked at you and I felt something strange. )

I am also wondering if you think I should keep the point of view all documentation (letters, news stories, police reports/notes, the criminal profile, etc) OR if I should have it from an actual person's viewpoint (Annabelle, Handen, an investigator, a victim, an uninvolved civilian, etc).

Also, any suggestions on where to set this story would be great too. I want it to be in a big city, but not in New York like Son of Sam and Jimmy Breslin were. Any input is appreciated! :)
[identity profile] aeriedraconia.livejournal.com
Show and tell, the writing version. Those of you who took a six second trip to the gutter come on back, I'll wait. ;-)

One of the more well known "rules" of writing is Show, Don't Tell. We hear it everywhere (if you haven't heard it, you really ought to go investigate it).

[livejournal.com profile] ilona_andrews has written a good article over in [livejournal.com profile] fangs_fur_fey with examples of showing and telling and her thoughts on it. Read the comment by [livejournal.com profile] patricemichelle as well, it's good stuff too. The article is lengthy so get comfy.

http://community.livejournal.com/fangs_fur_fey/374546.html?style=mine#cutid1

The best example I can think of for a book with too much telling in it is the first Amelia Peabody mystery, Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters. Several people on my flist really loved this series but I was so frustrated by the quantity of telling (there were pages of it) and the fact that I was kept too far away from the main character, Miss Peabody, to care about her or what was happening in the story. To me, too much telling distances the reader from the story and that is an epic fail, keeping the reader from getting pulled into the story allows the reader to put the book down and does not compel him/her to pick it up again.

Another thing about telling is if you find that your beta readers are saying your work feels flat or there is too much direction like, "He went to the door. He opened the door. He saw the newspaper lying on the welcome mat. He picked up the newspaper." it maybe because you are doing more telling than showing.

What do you think about Ilona's article?
Do you have any books that frustrated you with too much telling?
Do you have questions or thoughts about showing and telling? (Don't be afraid to ask, there are people of all skill levels here and we all have different strengths and weaknesses). Personally, I've got lots of telling going on in the first draft and hopefully I'll catch them all and fix them in the next draft. You know, make it seem a little more sophisticated than the elementary school level it is now. ;-)

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