So I picked up a book called THE FIRST 50 PAGES by Jeff Gerke the other day because, well, I have a book buying problem. (TBR pile is 68 at last count and I KNOW I’ve gotten a ton more books since then)
Anyways, I wanted to share some advice he gives that to me seemed pretty golden.
Here’s the sum up:
Think of your book as a movie. Telling is anything you write that THE CAMERA DOES NOT SEE.
Stop and think about it.
Let it sink in.
I know how we writers are. We feel like the reader needs to know all the back story to really understand what we are trying to write….the ins and outs of the plot, the history and texture of the worlds and characters we have created so lovingly.
They don’t. They don’t need to know anything that doesn’t directly relate to the events that happen ON THE PAGE. Your character has a history of fighting with his father, a raging alcoholic his entire life, and this is what gives him his hair trigger anger that makes him go blind with fury and whale on the first person to step to him wrong.
Don’t you dare TELL me that crap.
I’ll figure it out when you do stuff like:
put him in a bar and have someone buy him a drink
have someone step to him wrong
make him interact with his father
Until you write those interactions ON THE PAGE then his history means exactly diddly squat and I don’t wanna read it.
Trust me. I am an oversharer…..read my first three books and I not only told you all the backstory, I REPEATED it like repeatedly like over and over and over again…..then I told you once more for good measure. I was annoying about it because in the back of my mind I didn’t trust the reader to keep p with it. And I got dinged for it in the reviews. Hardcore. Got a boatload of 2 star reviews because of it.
So if you cannot show it, don’t write it. It’s really simple. Use the camera. Use it well.
And speaking of cameras: I have taken up photography!! I work under the name Von Tuck.
So now I am an Author, Tattoo Artist, Small Business Owner, and Photographer. Here are some recent pics I took that I am pretty pleased with.