Thursday, September 3, 2009

Switching gears

I'm a newspaper reporter by day. That can cause some problems on the fiction writing front. Not only do I get burned out some days on writing, but they are also two distinctly different styles of writing.

For the newspaper, the emphasis is tell the story. Tell everything. Tell them all the gory details and leave nothing to the imagination that could lead to a different interpretation from the truth. In newspaper writing, the reader is an assumed idiot, so we have to tell them everything, leaving no stone unturned.

For my book, telling the story isn't good enough. In the book, you're supposed to show the story. Leave things for the imagination, and guide the reader into filling in the holes on his/her own. In novel writing, the readers are not idiots. We know they are smart. I don't have to describe the every detail of the inside of my character's house, since you know what a house looks like.

Both are fun for me, but different kinds of fun. The hard part is shifting from one to the next quickly after a shift at the ol' ink-stained paragraph factory.

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