Guest Post by indie author Su Williams: Show, Don’t Tell; Some of the Stuff I’ve Learned; and Something Different
Today indie author Su Williams joins us with writing technique (Show, Don’t Tell), writing advice (Some of the Stuff I’ve Learned Along the Way), and some fun question and answers (Something Different), to celebrate the release of her new YA novel Dream Weaver. DREAM WEAVER is now only 0.99 on Amazon. A story of mind-benders & breakers. Are your memories your own?
“Show, Don’t Tell”
“Then, out of the shadows flanking her came a hand, curled into a fist even blacker than the gloom; gnarled and calloused as if it had been hewn from an ancient tree root. The long, spindly fingers creaked as they unfolded, as if the bones beneath the meagre flesh were snapping.”
This is an excerpt from a short story, Father of Lies, from one of my favorite new indie authors, Sam Whitehouse. I felt it was a beautiful example of ‘Show, don’t tell’ your story. I’ve met so many indie authors, young and old, that haven’t transitioned from telling a story to showing the story. Some I’ve been brave enough to go out on a limb for and hope they don’t have a saw. It’s obvious they are great writers, with fantastic story lines or concepts. The plot has the twists and turns. And I feel like I can say they have definitely ‘got the chops,’ as they say. When I run into an author like this I always want to do what I can to help out, but I’m always afraid I’ll come off as a prig. And honest, I’m really not self-righteous at all. I just see this gift inside them and I have this incredible desire to pull it out of them.
Anton Chekhov said:
Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. (source: Goodreads)
I want to see thirst in the syllables, touch fire in the sound, feel through the dark…for the scream. Pablo Neruda
I read once that show don’t tell is like showing your reader everything the movie camera sees. That is a very simplified explanation and that’s what I needed myself to get the concept. But I can boil it down more. One word: imagery. So as you write, or in your editing process…ask yourself what image are you painting for your reader? Am I painting a picture with my words or am I describing the picture?
The silent flight of raven-winged hours. -Poe
Her eyes were a poem; their every glance was a song. -Theophile Gautier
I truly believe that indie authors need to connect and network to help each other out and to get the books readers want into their hands. At present, I’m posting indie author interview on my blog, with a splash of award-winning and best-selling authors. (Award-winning author, Angela Scott; NYT best-seller, Marissa Meyer) I hope you’ll stop by Dream Weaver Novel/Tyro Writer and check them out. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find your new favorite among them and have a hand in making them a household name.
Some of the Stuff I’ve Learned Along the Way
I used to say ‘unfortunately’ when I told people it took me five years to write my first book. But I can’t do that anymore. I realized that those five years were a journey of learning for me, and my spongy grey mass has absorbed a plethora of information from writer’s conferences, research, studying English composition…
I’ve always been a bit of a teacher. I was a Sunday school teacher for several years and an adult study leader for a few more. All of this learning, I feel, has put me in a position to help others. It has always been something that pressed on my heart – the desire to help others. My blog, Dream Weaver Novels/Tyro Writer, was set up with the desire to help other indie authors along the way, so maybe their own journey won’t take them five years.
I wanted to do something a little different than what I’ve been doing on this blog hop. I’ve answered a lot of questions about my writing process, favorite books/authors…that kind of thing. So, I’m being a little silly to start off with.
Any pets that you would like to tell us about, share a pic?
Our house has been quite a menagerie at times. We’ve had all kinds of critters roaming around. Right now, we have a beagle named after a vacuum cleaner; a crested gecko named after a character on Criminal Minds; and two obnoxious cats—one named after the last weekday; and one named ‘cat’ in Japanese.
What are your pet peeves?
Most Spokane drivers. Mean people. Definitely not an all-inclusive list.
White wine or red?
Merlot. I guess that qualifies as red. ???
Coffee or tea?
Coffee. Definitely. Amoretto breves are my downfall.
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?
Bubble Gum (Baskin Robbins is best. Sorry. I’m a bit of a non-conformist.)
Sleep in or get up early?
I’m a horrible night owl. I’ve been known to stay up writing or reading until the sun comes up in the morning.
One of your favorite quotes:
Just one? There are so many. I have this great little notebook that I decorated myself that holds all of my quotes…that is after I gather up all of the post-it notes and receipts I wrote them on.
“We never touch someone so lightly that we never leave a trace.” Maya Angelou
“It’s never too late to be what you should have been.” George Elliot
List 3 books you just recently read and would recommend?
Rot & Ruin – Jonathan Maberry
Scarlet – Marissa Meyer
Wanted: Dead or Undead – Angela Scott
Oh man! Two zombie books and a retold fairy tale.
List 3 of your favorite movies?
ALL of the Harry Potter movies
Labyrinth (old David Bowie movie)
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (a true classic!)
Our fingerprints never fade from the lives we touch. (Robert Pattinson, Remember Me)