Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “Does ‘show don’t tell’ ever run up against your personal prohibitions?”
Not anymore it doesn’t. When I first started writing, I wrote a lot of narrative, in other words, telling the reader what was going on. Over the years, I learned to show readers, not tell them, through dialogue, body language, and other subtle tactics.
Let’s take, for example, the six-sentence excerpt from The Red Dress that I posted here last week, in which Thomas receives a bike for his birthday. To tell my readers what happened, I could have written something like this.
One of the gifts Thomas received for his thirteenth birthday was a bike that once belonged to his grandfather. Eve, being a tomboy in her younger years, had also ridden the bike, but now, it was time for it to be passed on to her son. Delighted, the boy mounted the bike and rode across the street to show it to Andy.
But since I wanted to show my readers how Thomas received the birthday gift, I wrote this.
Thomas scampered through the kitchen in the direction of the back door leading to the garage, saying, “What could be better than Colorado Rockies tickets and a new ball and catcher’s mitt?”
“It’s something you’ve wanted for a while,” said Greg as they all trooped after him.
In the garage, Greg pressed the lever to open the outside door and provide more light.
Thomas gaped open–mouthed at the gleaming bicycle standing next to Julie’s. “Is that really for me?” he asked, casting a look of uncertainty towards his parents.
Eve laughed. “There’s a card from Grandpa pinned to the handlebars. Why don’t you see what it says?”
Thomas unclipped the note and gazed at it for a moment. “Dear Thomas,” he finally read. “This was my bike a long time ago when I was your age. I gave it to your mom when she turned 13 because she was quite the tomboy. Happy Birthday, and Go, Rockies!”
“Yeah, Go, Rockies,” Thomas said. He tossed the card aside, released the kickstand, and mounted the bike. “Wow, this is a lot like my other one that broke. I promise I’ll take better care of this one.”
Greg and Eve laughed, and Greg said, “I’m sure you will.”
“Can I go show this to Andy?” asked Thomas. “I’ll ask him if he wants to swim at the club.”
“Go ahead, honey,” said Eve. “Be careful.”
If you want to know what happens after that, you’ll have to read The Red Dress. You can participate in this week’s Open Book Blog Hop and read what other bloggers have to say by clicking here.
For those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.
New! The Red Dress
Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books
When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.
Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.