Chapter 1 of “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers”

I have started reading Self-Editing for Fiction Writers in preparation for a workshop with David Farland in a few weeks. In an effort to better retain the information inn the book, I’m going to post my summaries of the chapters, here.

Chapter 1 covers a very basic topic, showing versus telling, but explains it as well as anything I’ve ever read on the topic.

Here’s the gist of it.

On a large scale:
–Avoid narrating scenes. Give them a time, setting, and action. Don’t summarize an important scene.
–Where practical, convert exposition into scenes.
–Use narrative summery to vary the rhythm of your text, so that each scene doesn’t have the same feel as every other scene.
–Summarize (tell) about unimportant plot developments

On a smaller scale, don’t tell when describing or in order to convey character emotions–resist the urge to explain: R.U.E.

I’ll be back with the other chapters as I read them.


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