Slow down there fella.

I have trouble with Show don’t tell. When I opened the intro to my WIP gagged I realized that I had written half the plot in the first paragraph, in an incredibly boring way. It was originally exactly like I would describe what I wanted to write to a friend.

I slowed it down. Most of the details I was giving away in that intro (only a few hundred words) could be revealed over many different chapters, interspersed with the actual unfolding of the story.

In fact that would be what would make it a story, not a guy talking about a story.

So I rewrote it. I realized the first paragraph was good (once I fixed a few typos), and that there were a couple of lines worth saving, but it was garbage. I wasn’t even disappointed by this. I knew it wasn’t very good when I wrote it. I mostly wrote it because the idea was good, and I needed to get enough down to be able to pick it up again. Still, it was very much endemic of my style. Write the whole damned thing out like I was describing a book to someone.

The rewritten version reads pretty well to me. There is a hook, something to make the reader want to keep going. It’s a bit sexy, a bit dirty, a bit mysterious. Of course I might feel differently if I try to re-read it in five years.

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