On my last post I mentioned that I had read Harold Underdown's Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books. I actually read this last fall and starting thinking about his ideas and trying a few suggestions. I am in the submission process for a number of manuscripts, and not really getting any results. I think the first bit of encouragement I've had in a long time was at the WPA-SCBWI Conference last fall, and it got me thinking again about what I had read in Harold's book. Conferences are the place to meet editors.
I found this essay I wrote several years ago and was reminded of some fairly basic writing techniques that probably wouldn't hurt for all of us to see again, and that certainly includes me. So, here it is...the importance of showing vs. telling in our writing.
Noah Lukeman (The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile) argues that a writer has more problems to worry about than the plot when writing a manuscript (p. 19). The story needs to be properly executed before a plot will be considered by an editor. He says there are several common mistakes made by beginning writers, such as style, viewpoint, narration, tone and characterization, and that writers should spend more time correcting these mistakes than worrying about the plot. But another critical aspect in writing that should not be overlooked is “showing versus telling”.
I am a writer of Children's and Young Adult books. I received my MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and am an active member of SCBWI. I also have my MLS in Library Science with an emphasis on children and happily worked as a Children's Librarian for nearly 20 years. One of my favorite activities was reading books aloud to kids, especially to school-aged kids. Like the kids, I enjoy having stories read to me, so I listen to many of my books on audio and serve on audio judging committees.
Another favorite activity is creating fun snacks for library programs, friends, and family. I do that a lot and continually search for more ideas.
I have a tiny brown tabby cat named Gypsy, who originally belonged to my brother and sister-in-law, a very large Russian Blue mix named Bosley from the shelter who has quickly made himself at home, and a new puppy named Prince Albert. He's a Cavapoo, which means he's part Cavalier King Charles and part poodle, and adorable. I am married and live in Dayton, Ohio with my husband Rod.
You can find more detailed information about me by clicking the link below: