As a writer, I have a strong narrative writing style that is born from the images and words playing out in my mind like mini movie scenes. My characters always SHOW me who they are, where they are, what they are doing, how they are acting and what they are feeling and saying in concern to the situations they are in. As a visual writer, I SHOW and TELL it like I see it. (I’m a student of screenwriting as well.) The difference between SHOW or TELL for me depends on the scene. Most of the time I allow the characters to SHOW or TELL on themselves by words or action. Their ACTIONS do not always speak louder than their WORDS and their WORDS don’t always overshadow their ACTIONS. There is a balance, and it is up to me, the writer, to decide which elements work best for me to move the story along. It has also been said that I use a lot of interactive dialogue, which is a very important part of my individual writing voice. I write this way because to me, it allows the reader to jump right into the scene as if they are watching it on film.
In my defense, as a reader, I have come across a few good reads that contained a lot of narrative scenes. One book I read had 32 pages of narrative and I loved it because I learned a lot about the characters long before the book even took off. Good thing for this author is that he has already made a name for himself, so it was okay for him to break the ‘rules’ of show or tell. Not so much for the indie authors who are still trying to get into the game. As for the rules of SHOW and TELL, well, I just have to accept them for what they are and just keep doing what I do. I admit that I am always open to learning, but at this point, if I tried to change the WAY I write, I may as well not write at all. But I am a writer and I appreciate that narrative writing is a part of my creative style.
Thanks for stopping by! (Hugs)
Excerpt from the short story – “Paper Images”
Eight years later, it was nearly midnight when Jarian Martin, twenty-three, slender, and soft-spoken, walked nervously up and down the sidewalk in front of the downtown Police Station. After what seemed forever, the double glass doors finally pushed open and Officer Robert “Bobby” Clark, twenty-four, wide shoulders, annoyed, and intimidating, stormed outside the building dragging a very drunk person along. Andy Hansen, twenty-three, tall, blonde, handsome, in a disheveled business suit, threw himself drunkenly into Jarian’s arms and gives Bobby a hard look.
“You owe me one, J. Martin,” Bobby spat in his direction. Jarian only nodded at Bobby, standing on the sidewalk with his hands in his pockets as he does his best to get Andy, who is a bit taller and heavier, into the backseat of his compact car.
“Some friend, he is,” Jarian thought to himself in regards to Bobby Clark as he slipped behind the wheel. Andy was nearly passed out before he could even start the car to leave.
“I’ve always hated that son-of-a-bitch,” Andy suddenly grumbled in the darkness. Though he knew it wasn’t true, Jarian couldn’t help but to smile at the fact that at the moment they both felt exactly the same way.
* * *
At Magnolia Park Apartments, Jarian struggled to get Andy out of the backseat. After a moment, he had him on his feet but struggled more with trying to get him up the short flight of stairs to the sidewalk that led into the courtyard of the apartment complex.
Once they made it through the courtyard, Jarian pulled Andy to their building, propped him up on the wall between their apartment and their neighbors on the ground floor, unlocked the door and kicked his way inside. All the while he kept his cool as he was familiar with the whole process for more times than he cared to count. As he guided Andy inside the apartment, Jarian noticed one of their young neighbors sitting on the bench in the middle of the courtyard – watching. Always being polite, he smiled at the guy before closing the door behind him.
Inside their exceptionally clean apartment, filled with all the latest in technology, wide-screen TV, home computers, gaming systems, and all, Jarian continued his struggle with Andy and even stopped for him to take a bathroom break, with him holding Andy by his coattail and shirt to keep his balance. The rest, Andy managed on his own, including washing his hands and face. The towel he dried up with ended up on the floor.
Inside Andy’s bedroom, Jarian dropped him onto his unmade bed, undressed him, slipped him under the covers and sat watching him with worry. Once he was sure Andy would be okay for the night, he left the room and stood with his back against the wall in the hall. After a deep breath he turned to his own room next door and began to undress himself.