Friday, May 28, 2010
11:21 AM | Posted by Lola Sharp | | Edit Post
Five Random Things I Love:
1) Reading a book rich with intoxicating prose and imagery that haunts and lingers long after the last page...
(one of my favorites: The English Patient)
2) Supportive Friends, and Link Love:
My friend and fellow writer, JP @ Where Sky Meets Ground is moving his family AGAIN (to Italy this time) this weekend, for our country.
The sacrifices our members of armed forces AND their families make are many and I'm deeply grateful to all of them...past, present and future.
So please stop by his blog and thank him this weekend.
And remember those who have fallen.
Safe travels, JP.
(I just got it yesterday and I'm already posting it!)
THANK YOU SUMMER!
SarahJayne @ Writing in the Wilderness gifted me with the Beautiful Blogger Award:
(I just received it TODAY and I'm already posting it! Impressed?)
THANK YOU, SJS!!
I'm passing the first one on to every person who reads this post and leaves a comment here and on JP's blog.
I'm passing the second one on to everyone who leaves a comment here and on Summer and SarahJaynes blogs.
Thank you for being here.
3) My husband, daughter, dogs, home, music...life!
4) Friday's, BBQ's, Three-Day WEEKENDS!!!! (and cute shoes!)
(I LOVE, want, NEED these shoes! How perfect for this weekend and 4th of July they would be! *swoon* If anyone knows where I can buy them, LMK!)
5) The Beach!
What things are you loving this weekend?
Have a safe and FUN weekend!
Edited to add dresses I would totally wear with those shoes (and red lipstick):
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
3:20 PM | Posted by Lola Sharp | | Edit Post
We've all heard it before:
Show, don't tell.
But what does that really mean? Why is it so important? And is it ever okay to 'tell'?
A lot of writers believe they are showing, when they're really just doing what some call 'fancy telling'.
"Telling states facts. Showing engages the reader by allowing the reader to use all their senses and make their own judgement."
Don't tell me your main character is angry (because I won't care), show me what he DOES and says, SHOW me he's angry, let me (the reader) decide if I relate, and feel his anger. Readers want to feel engaged, to see, hear, smell, taste, touch and feel what the characters are experiencing.
Okay, I've done enough telling, now let me show you.
Telling: When Gary broke up with me I was devastated. I'll never forget that pain.
Fancy Telling: I could live to be 100, and I'll never feel the agony and rejection I felt after Gary broke up with me. I was so devastated that I thought I would cry myself to death. I don't think I'll ever get over him.
Showing: Even after Gary stopped doing the little things like calling me from work during the day "just to say hi", and letting me have the last slice of pizza, I still convinced myself it was the natural progression of a relationship settling into its second year.
That soupy Monday morning, the air conditioner chugging away, I reached down to pick up the white envelope sticking out under my front door. I could smell him on the paper as I unfolded his letter. After reading the first sentence the words began to blur together, my heart thumped in my throat, gagging me. I barely made it to the bathroom, where I curled my body around the cold porcelain for the better part of a month.
It's been 6 months since he dumped me in that damn letter and I still get sick at the smell of pizza or men's cologne.
(Obviously I just wrote these quick for this post. Please feel free to write better examples in my comments :)
Often writers think that adding more adjectives to the details is showing, but they're merely doing some fancy telling. Telling on steroids, if you will. The reader still can't SEE the actions/behavior, they still can't judge and feel it for themselves.
Instead of just saying that a thing is "awful" or "funny" or "the most beautiful thing you can possibly imagine" and expecting your reader to believe you, a good writer should show actions, behaviors, senses with words (not lots of adjectives) that lead the reader to conclude for themselves that this thing is indeed terrifying or hilarious, etc.
Dialogue is a a tricky area. A lot of great showing can be done in dialogue, as can a lot of cheat-y telling.
Don't: "You think you're so smart," she retorted dryly (or wryly...), "then you do it."
Do: "You think you're so smart," she cocked a brow and tossed the directions at me, "then you do it."
Tip: During revisions, do a search for the word "was" in your document (for directions how, go here). Often "was" is a clue that there's some telling going down.
When to tell, NOT show:
All showing and no telling makes a wordy, high-word-count, dull story.
Readers don't want to see/smell/hear every single detail of the 2-block taxi ride, or the sidewalk the MC walked upon, if it is of no real importance to the story.
It is okay to tell basic things. In fact we must, for pacing purposes.
What an author must strive for is balance between showing and telling.
But how do you know when to tell and when to show?
-If you want to convey emotion and/or allow you reader to feel, you must show them.
-Go ahead and tell the things that are of minor importance, but needed to move the story forward (transitions, for example):
Jane climbed out of bed, used the bathroom and headed to the kitchen to start the coffee.
We don't need to know anything more about this part of the story, so for pacing purposes, this bit of telling is fine.
I hope this helps clarify the difference between showing and telling and when to do either.
By the way, I commit plenty of telling sins during my rough drafts, and that's okay. I'm just trying to get the bones of my story on the screen during that first pass. I spend a lot of time in revision turning the telling into showing (and sometimes the other way around.)
Friday, May 21, 2010
11:38 AM | Posted by Lola Sharp | | Edit Post
Happy Friday, Friends!
I have So much Love to share today!
First, I have to catch up posting some (way overdue) Awards I've been lucky enough to receive from many kind, yummy friends...I hope you'll go check their blogs out, make some new friends:
Lydia Kang MD at The Word is My Oyster awarded me:
Lydia is not only a Physician AND writer (and mom, wife and blogger!) but she also is running a generous CONTEST! (see my contest sidebar, or just click her link! Go ENTER now...and good luck!) Lydia's Medical Monday posts are informative and extremely helpful to making our fiction ring true. Her blog is a MUST read for every writer.
I'd like to pass it along to:
Theresa @ Substitute Teacher's Saga (learn all about her recent writer's conference experience)
Laurel @ Laurel's Leaves (as a pro editor, you'll enjoy learning about writing mechanics at her wonderful blog)
And the lovely Angie Paxton (love me some Angie...and she's got a full out on sub, so go wish her luck!)
Anne @ Piedmont Writer (because she and her blog are lovely)
Mary @ Mary McDonald (always interesting posts)
The sweet Laura Marcella at Wavy Lines for awarded me the Sunshine Award:
Laura's a sunshiny person, and her blog is a LOT of fun! I adore her.
I'm giving it to:
SarahJayne @ Writing in the Wilderness
Jem @ Can I Get a Side of Reality With That?
Nicole @ One Significant Moment at a Time
I received the the yummy Sugar Doll Award from the always funny T.J. Carson
T.J. is a LOT of fun, go check it!
and I'm passing it on to:
DL Hammons of Cruising Altitude (you know you're a sugar doll to us, DL)
My dear friend, Anne @ Piedmont Writer gifted me with the BFF Award!
I wish we really were dressed up in our Sunday hats and sharing a cocktail right now! You know I adore you, Anne.
I'd like to pass it on to:
Jadee Morgan ...Go ENTER her CONTEST!
Portia @ Portia Sisco
Courtney @ Southern Princess
Carolyn V @ Checkerboard Squares
Clara from Pinches of Madness awarded me with this pretty Happiness Award:
I'm supposed to list 10 Things that make me HAPPY. I can do that! In no particular order:
1) my bichon
2) my husband
3) hearing my kid sing around the house (even off-key) and her laughter
4) Food: especially: bread and butter pickles, dark chocolate covered pretzels, coffee, lobster and champagne, tomato sandwiches (w/ hellman's [sp?] mayo) and sweet tea
5) the beach and sunshine
6) twinkle lights and fireflies
7) friends, especially when they make me laugh
8) a good book
10) Disney World
I'd like to pass it on to:
Amy @ She Writes
Tahereh @ Grab a Pen - Check out her Brain Imploding CONTEST!!
Kazzy @ Kazzys Ponderings
and to...the awesome B.Miller @ B. Miller who not only makes me HAPPY is running a PAY IT FORWARD CONTEST!! Please go check it out! It's truly special.
Whew! *wipes brow* That's a lot of linkage! I probably forgot some awards...I'm sorry. I try to keep track, I really do. Please know that I'm grateful for each of you.
On another note: If I am not visiting your blog or following you, please let me know!
Some of you don't have working links to your little icon for me to follow you back to your blog.
Happy Weekend and Happy Writing!
Off to do my weekend frolicking...
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
12:55 PM | Posted by Lola Sharp | | Edit Post
I missed you!
I missed the visiting of your blogs and the reading of your posts.
How are you? Tell me what you've been up to in the last week or two. If you have big news/good news, please share it with us in my comments!
Yeah. So, I used to do my fun Tactile Book Love posts, just because they make me happy. (I love pretty, pretty books.) But I haven't done one in a l-o-n-g time.
I thought I should remedy the error of my ways and show some proper book love today.
First, let's start with mood music, for our viewing pleasure, shall we?
Is Five Years not one the best Bowie songs ever?
The answer is yes. Oh, yes.
His voice puts me directly into my creative comfort zone, like so many pillows, and the kind of sunshine that makes your bare legs warm but not sweaty.
Love this version w/ Arcade Fire!
Another awesome musical choice for viewing books...come with me...and you'll see...a world of Pure Imagination:
Okay, sit back and enjoy the awesome!
— John Wilson
You can't do any of this with an e-reader...
What would life be without bookstores and libraries? *shudder*
I want there to be a big, squishy bean bag in the middle of this circular book wall...
Is this Heaven? I hope so!
I'd like to fall down this rabbit hole...
When I land, I hope it's HERE!!
The color of the paint, the WTWTA dolls on the stairs...magical, no?
Let's move on to home libraries... how much would you adore living in this cottage, hanging out in this room? So charming.
For a completely opposite, yet creative approach...this makes a fun statement, no? (needs more books on those pac-shelves, though)
Karl Lagerfeld...well, Dude(ish) has some serious coin to pull this off!
One of my favorites...the architecture is magnificent.
How about a cocktail?
You can see more photos of the Book Bar being constructed at the Vestal Design Blog. And just how did this book bar come to be? From the Vestal Blog:
One of our non-Vestal housemates worked at the Stanford library, and his job included the task of throwing away old books, which apparently the other librarians couldn't bear to do. We decided to rescue these books from that awful fate - and what better use for them than a bar from which to entertain our frequent guests?
I'll drink to that! Cheers!
This mini library is freaking adorable!
Okay, peeps, I will stop now.
Now, I have no issue with e-books/e-readers, but there'll always be more magic for me in a tangible BOOK, with the author (YOUR) name on the cover and spine? A BOOK that you can hold in your hands and pass down to future generations? Books as decor. A BOOK that you can read in the bathtub and on the beach?
PS most of the book photos in this post are from Tumblr, thus I couldn't track down to its origin, unless otherwise noted and linked.
- Lola Sharp
- My name is Lola. (I'm not a showgirl) Yes, L-O-L-A Lola. It's the least of my worries. Let's move on, shall we? This blog is mostly about my misadventures on the journey to publication and beyond. My passion for lush prose, quirky characters, art, music, literature, performing arts and anything creative will be a major theme here. This journey of mine will not always be pretty. Much like rubbernecking a train wreck, I know sometimes you just can't help but look at the carnage that is often my life. So strap on your neck brace, helmet and 5-point harness and come along for the ride! Licentia poetica.
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