Monday, September 22, 2014

Primordial Soup Ingredient: Maxim Show Don't Tell- Part 2 Showing



I was hoping to have my showing blog post out last Friday, but I’ve been terrified to write it. When finished the telling half of the post, I was sure I was ready to stretch my writer’s wings and write good examples of showing.



Why am I frightened to write showing?  It is because I don’t like personifying objects and I don’t particularly like flowery language and I fear that my showing will be those two things. When I draw, I think in shapes, light and dark, and forms. I want my showing writing to be an image which shows the viewer/reader a clear view of what I see as important and not every twig, blade of grass or stone.
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Showing?-Resting my bike on sandy, barely covered with grass spot, I’ve reached my destination and the halfway mark of my ride. As I walk towards the rocks with my camera in hand, I look and listen for rattlesnakes. A bunny scurries under a rock; I jump and my ankles tingle. My nerves relax while I watch the white tale disappear under a rock. I stop, sit on a rock, and drink from my water pack as the wind cools my face. The view is of expanse where I am the only sign of human life looking at a never ending sky.

I don’t know; have I done it? I still feel the need to add a few look at the bush or the sky moments. When you paint, you put in the sky and the person sees it and hopefully gets that the painter wants you to see the sky is never ending. Or, if I put a lone person or bike in a painting, then the viewer, hopefully, understands there is little in the way of human presence in this spot.



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Showing?-Black heads peer towards me as I slow down. I speak gentle words letting the cows know I am human though I move quickly and oddly on my two wheels. Spotting the cows flanking the two track, I place my fingers on the breaks. As I pass, they twitch but do not move. They are the wildlife on this ride and I miss the prancing antelope that usually cross the path in flight from the fast moving but silent bicycle.

I have read that showing is easiest to write when you writing a conversation or action. Perhaps, I have chosen the wrong way to practice writing showing. Having placed before me pictures that, though I was active as I biked through, are now still scenes. As I said, I don’t want to personify objects, so I won’t write a conversation with the grass. One more try and I’ll leave practicing showing.


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Showing?-A line of dirt and the rustling of grass leads me along to the last climb. My bike starts to jostle and peddling becomes pushing as the single path turns to hoof prints left by the cows. Cursing each jarring indentation, I am reminded of the snow that fell a week ago. The trail tells of each season. The wet spring when the grass is fresh life showing the results of heavy winter snow fall. Now, the bumps, brown shades, and whistling wind tell of short days and rest.

Showing feels a bit like poetry and I still feel frightened by it. I don’t quite feel that I have an understanding of it at my finger tips. As I explore this writing world instead of a quick brush stroke, I will search for words to give a reader my vision of a story.

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