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
The Games We Play
by Sean Hayden
genre: paranormal romance, short story
Synopsis from Goodreads
A smoky bar, a few too many drinks, it had all the makings of a perfect night. It looked even brighter when he walked in. “Tall, dark, and delicious,” she thought. Too bad Veronica didn’t realize he was having the same thoughts about her. She looked very delicious…to the predator. A shot with a chaser quickly turns into just a chase. Running for her life was not how she thought the night would end. Veronica had always had a thing for games. She could only pray she would win this one.
Completely neutral. I have nothing to say about this book, which is not generally something you’d see in a review, but there it is. It was fine, well written, and short. It’s something to read to pad your books for the year if you’re behind on your Goodreads Challenge; it just went by too quickly for me to feel any emotional attachment at all.
It doesn’t seem to be the introduction to a longer story, so it doesn’t even have that going for it, but there’s nothing negative to give it less than three.
3 out of 5
To submit a review request for your novel or see what other books we’ve reviewed, please check the Book Reviews page.
Magical Entities Are Not For Sale
by Chris Turner
genre: fantasy, short story, young adult
It’s a cute story about a nine year-old who learns the importance of responsibility, honesty, and self-restraint while she works at a candy-store whose proprietor gives away magical “entities” to deserving patrons.
My only problem with it was it’s level of language. What nine year-old uses words like “pretentious” “prudent” and “perplexity?” Am I so out of tune with children now that those words are in their vocabulary or was the book written to challenge young readers?
This just wasn’t for me.
3 stars out of 5.
To see other book reviews by Ermilia or request a review, check our Book Reviews page.