Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Primordial Soup Ingredient: Maxim Show Don't Tell- Part 1 Telling

As an artist, you are observing the world from a distance and creating your interpretation of it. Your sketch pad separates you from the action. Your final product is an exhibition of your art.

Since I am a fine artist trying to write stories, critiques of my stories say that I am telling, that my characters are stiff, and that my writing lacks intimacy. Therefore, I must be writing from the outside the world and not placing the reader in the story. 

Can a long time observer of the world become capable of putting a reader in a story instead of the reader perceiving a story from a distance?

While taking you along on one of mountain bike rides, I'll explore the maxim - show don't tell. 
Part one will be telling.

Telling -The first stretch of the ride is along a rutted road in the high desert. It is slow going, but I know the reward of a my favorite single track awaits me. I peddle avoiding mud puddles and bike eating crevices. Taking in the views of mountains with a bit of snow on their peaks and seeing the height of brown grass, I am reminded it's been awhile since I've ridden this trail. 

Telling - My bike lays before an invisible drop off of 14 inches. I have watched other riders peddle down it and I know the technique of riding drops, but I refuse to attempt it on a solo ride in fear I will fail and wind up a concussion or broken limb. I have taken many pictures of this spot and enjoy the view of the distant mountains. Watching the grass turn green or the snow disappear off of the mountain peaks is a sign of spring, but now the grass is golden, snow is on the peaks and fall approaches.

Telling -  On bike rides, I tend to stop in the same places; at the top of a long hill, where the trail switches from single track to two track, and when there is a giant boulder that I must push my bike around. I stopped here for the first time and took this picture of the prairie leading up to the mountains. It is a view of my life being an east of the Rockies dweller. 

In writing these telling paragraphs, I now understand that telling is exhibiting your pictures of a vacation; this is what I saw. My next post will be showing my bike ride. It will be interesting to see if I am capable of showing.

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