Monday, August 9, 2010

Getting Tipsy

Not that kind of tipsy! This is when I give you a tip about writing.

So, I was stuck in my revision last week because I was drowning in stuff like this: MC goes to first period, then maybe we see her at lunch, next she visits with a friend, then at home, and before long, I was bored.

Problem: I was setting up her personality and other important facts in the story, but, I was being TOO linear.

Solution: Ask yourself how your MC would tell this story to her 50 year old friends on a bench in the future someday. Actually, that might not work, but I loved this photo. But asking myself this question did help me remind myself that I am not telling the story, she is. It's first person. So what would she tell me next if I didn't know her story. What would she think was important. What would she leave out, etc...


She'd skip all the mundane junk I was stuck in, maybe summarize some things, and then get right to the next important event.

Tah dah!

Tip. No. 1: Imagine your MC is the storyteller, not you.

Duh. How could I have forgotten?


Matthew Rush said...

Hmm. Great advice. It is tough to remember that a character narrating in first person doesn't have to be reliable, always tell the truth, or always tell the story in chronological order. In fact it's usually more fun when they don't.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Great advice. I always try to have conflict or tension on the page. Not easy to do when you're going through the mc's mundane life. Then you know something has to change.

Meredith said...

Such a good tip! I always try to explain everything where I should just summarize, and thinking how my MC would really tell the story will help tremendously. Love that pic!

Hardygirl said...

Great advice!

And, when I AM fifty, if you ever see me leave the house dressed and coiffed like that chick in the red, send me home to change. Thanks.


storyqueen said...

I just struggled with this in my WIP, too. Sometimes, we are told to SHOW don't Tell, when really, sometimes we just need to gloss over a bit, to tell something quickly before we jump back into the showing.

Telling has it's place.

(We are storytellers, after all.)


Christina Lee said...

sigh...yeah, a great lesson!

Elle Strauss said...

Great tip! Thanks for sharing your thought process getting there.

Gail said...

This is the place I get stuck....and my critique group reminds me: "Let your character's voice tell it, not yours. It sounds like you!" Thank goodness for crit groups!

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