Show, not Tell

There are 3 rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

Lesson 7

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This one goes hand in hand with Lesson 6: have selective hearing!

Why is it important to have selective hearing? Other than ignoring your parent and/or spouse, you have to tune your ear to the opinions of those that actually matter. You need to be able to pick out what will actually work for you (and your masterpiece). Someone might be telling you that your writing is perfect. It’s not–or maybe it is (hello it is a pleasure to meet you mr conrad). Someone may be telling you that your characters aren’t redeemable (mary will you be my bff). Does it matter? Was that your intent? Only you know what you want.

Having the correct setting on your selective hearing can be hard to accomplish. Do you listen to your mom when she tells you that you look nice? Sometimes you should and sometimes you should really throw that black eyelet lace tank top into the garbage. Do you listen to Janet Reid when she tells you that your query is garbage? Yes, unless that query already has gotten you published.

Exceptions, exceptions–that’s why life sucks so hard. It’s hard to tell who to listen to or what advice to take. So listen to who you want to and take what advice you want to take. See where it takes you. Adjust your selective hearing if necessary.


Written by Jessica Lei

August 18, 2010 at 7:50 am

Posted in Lessons, Revising

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