I took a creative writing course this semester at university and the experience has been mixed. I have been able to gain some skills and reinforce certain writing dos and don’ts. But one writing DON’T has been irking me.
My teacher really hates any form of ‘explaining’. He wants raw dialogue and/or actions. I know that important writing rule of ‘show don’t tell’. I try to show as much as possible. But what about when you’re trying to weave motive, thought, and reflection? Is it okay to tell sometimes?
Some novels rarely explain. I noticed that generic crime books have less explaining. YA has heaps of explaining. So what do I mean exactly by explaining? I will use a segment from Poisoned Waters as an example.
The hairpin slipped into the lock, and like a surgeon, Sylvia probed. There was a reassuring click and the door opened. With the pin back in her hair, she slipped inside Jacobus’ cabin. When she had first thought of breaking in, she had dismissed the thought. But the thought nagged her until she was rattling the doorknob. She wanted her jewels back. They were hers. What right did he have to take them? Continue reading