Monday, March 11, 2013

THE WAY I SEE IT!


 

Memoir... leave them wanting more-more-more.

Personalize your story so that the reader sees what you saw, hears what you heard and feels what you felt. Remember to use lots of sensory detail. Here's an example of SHOW don’t TELL.

TELLING: Dad and I used to walk a parking lot each Saturday morning in search of coins. The neighboring factory workers partied there after work Friday nights and often lost loose change in the gravel.

SHOWING: The year I was ten, I would quietly slip out of bed and into my clothes and join Dad at the crack of dawn on Saturday mornings in early fall. We walked the neighboring factory’s block-long, gravel parking lot in search of coins. Employees partied there on Friday nights after the neighborhood corner bar closed.

 Our exhaled breath made puffy clouds, our feet kicked up gravel dust, and we kept our eyes to the ground searching for silver. Pennies were easy to find, but I could spy a nickel in that gray gravel from far away.  The time I found two half dollars, Dad and I both whooped and hollered as he rubbed them together like a magician. He bought a half pound of sliced bologna with red rind and a fresh loaf of white bread. He gave me a dime. I took my time selecting penny candy. Went home with a bagful to share with my brother.

There was a time in my early writing when I did not feel comfortable revealing personal details about my life, because I feared having my life not my writing judged. When you let go of that fear, your writing will flourish

9 comments:

Sioux said...

You are so right, Linda. If we write openly--letting our pain and our joy and our vulnerability show--our writing has a chance of having an impact on others.

K9friend said...

Couldn't agree more. Showing puts the reader right in the action. BTW, I enjoyed the bigger print. It's easy on the eyes!

Pat
Critter Alley

Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

Linda, So true - fear makes us want to hide, but love makes us want to share and reveal our true selves to each other.
Happy Monday to you!

Bookie said...

Excellent post today, Linda! It shows as well as tells us how to write!

Merlesworld said...

You can always write from what you know but if your life is varied you can make other people feel it and if you feel the story so much the better.
Merle..............

Daisy said...

Terrific post, Linda. You are not only very talented at the craft of writing, you are also a great teacher.

Judy SheldonWalker said...

I agree Linda, to a point. Many times my pain or personal information involves family members who would not speak to me if I revealed their personal anguish along with mine.

Val said...

I still refuse to "show" my new driver's license photo!

Beth M. Wood said...

Wonderful advice Linda! I guess I never really considered what it is I was afraid of, but you nailed it - it really was the fear of them judging ME rather than my writing.