So in writing one of the biggest tips that you start hearing starts in around third grade and it's "SHOW DON'T TELL."
And it's sound writing advice, but it's pretty sound life advice, too.
How many of us have heard the words, "I love you," but never seen the actions that give proof to the words. You can tell someone you love them incessantly for hours, but if you don't show them it too, it's pretty likely that the words aren't going to rock that person's world.
Shaun was a hotty.
Carrying four grocery bags and a kitten, biceps bulging, Shaun walked through the parking lot, approaching a couple of older men. The smaller man gawped at Shaun, staring at his chest, the kitten, the bags, the biceps.
"Wow," the man said, pivoting as Shaun strode by. "Just wow."
The man licked his lips. His partner hit him in the back of the head lightly and said, "I am right here."
Both examples illustrate that Shaun is a hotty, but one states it as fact (telling) and one elucidates with examples (description, reaction, action).
The lawyer liked to use big words to impress people.
Carpenter stuck his thumbs into the waist of his pants, lowered his voice and said, "Pontification is one of the more mirthful and blithe aspects of the juridical system."
In life, you want to show too, not just tell all the time.
You can say, "I love you."
You can also grab someone's hand and say, "I love you."
You can also scoff and turn away and step on an ant and say, "I love you."
The actions matter. Showing matters.
Showing and telling simultaneously in life (not writing) works to get treats.
It’s get real time. Sorry. It’s because I (Carrie)was thinking about how I can write 500 words so quickly when they aren’t supposed to be truth, but when they are about my own life I stare and stare and stare at the blank computer screen and wonder what I’m doing being a writer at all. AND THIS FREAKED ME OUT. “Just write 500 words about your own life,” I tell myself in sentence form inside my head. “That’s not much. You can do this. Five hundred words.” And then I give myself the finger, because pep talks drive me crazy. They feel like platitudes and I don’t believe in words any more. I believe in actions. Sometimes. Only sometimes. So, our daughter Em has made it through basic training and officer candidate school, which was actually more brutal than basic training since it involved nine-mile ruck marches/runs carrying massive packs, along with the regular things they did in basic – timed runs, sit-ups, push-up, lifting. She made it through, but with hip and back pain. “A girl s**8 her pants during the final run. I got off okay,” she says. So she had some perspective. Another guy didn’t take water in his Camelback or canteen, running with weight at a nine-mile pace in the August heat of Southern Georgia. He passed out. And she had more perspective. And perspective? That’s a good thing. It’s what every parent wants for their kid and for their own self. After a few months in limbo at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma, her first day of field artillery officer training begins. I send her a text that says I LOVE YOU. ...
This week’s podcast is about something really important. It’s about remembering to have fun. For a lot of us, life has a ton of stressors and responsibilities. We have to make enough money to survive. We have to take care of our family and ourselves. We have to deal with a world and not succumb to constant catastrophic thinking about the state of the world. It’s easy to forget to have fun. Or to feel guilty about having fun. Or to feel guilty about having hobbies. And here’s the thing. It’s great to be a professional writer and make money at something you love to do, but you don’t have to make money at it. A lack of financial rewards for your efforts doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It just means you aren’t getting money. And money, my friends, is not everything. What is everything? Having fun. Growing. Enjoying your damn self in this short amount of time you have on this world, making yourself wiser and stronger and embracing your moments of joy. Everyone who sings in the shower isn’t expected to make money at singing in the shower. That should go for those of us who write too. Here’s the truth: You can write solely for the joy of writing. Don’t let other people’s opinions or standards give you or your writing validation. Don’t let the pressure for external measures of success (publication, an agent, an award, 100,000 social media followers) ruin your joy in creating stories. ...
Science isn't always right. I know! Shocker. Once, some scientists had this theory about the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary. They truly believed that the lamb grew on a tree. To be fair, it was the Middle Ages in Europe and things were kind of like America right now. People had no clue about stuff, but they pretended to. Anyway, according to Ripley's Believe it Or Not, There were believed to be two distinct varieties of Vegetable Lamb: a bizarre plant that produced tiny lambs inside pods, and an equally-bizarre hybrid creature that consisted of a whole, full-sized lamb, which lived suspended from the ground by a small stem! Chris Littlechild, Ripley's Believe it Or Not People believed this for centuries, right? Centuries. What does this have to do with writing? When we write, we bring our pasts, our systems of belief and it ends up on our pages. Our work reflects our society and it reflects our own morality and beliefs. To be a good writer, we have to know what our truths are but also be willing to be challenged about them. Writing is a communication, a social contract between the writer and the reader. We're asking our readers to share our story, but also more subconsciously, to hear about our world views and thoughts. We're inviting them in. Writing Tip of the Pod ...