Two hours to not finish a paragraph

So, last night I spent two hours cracking away at a single paragraph. It’s not done, and the only way to fix it is to trash it. It’s not that I don’t know what I want to say. I’ve got a pretty clear picture of the scene, actually. The problem, I think, is because it’s all narrator. There’s nothing to drive the scene. It’s not the sort of scene I can just add a character to move things along either. So, what to do? The plan for the moment is to start the scene earlier in the course of events. Then when I get to the narrator heavy bit, I won’t have to say as much and it should flow way better.
This problem is at the heart of a common situation, and one that has trapped one of my unsuspecting employees at my real job in hours of history lesson, when all they really needed to know was two mouse clicks and a hand gesture away: Telling too much, and not showing enough. A common bit of feedback I got when I used to workshop my writing was ‘show, don’t tell.‘ While may have been applicable, it was, and really still is, meaningless. As a new writer, I needed real advice on how to deal with the problem, not that I was likely to take any of it.
So, here’s my advice. You will recognize too much narrator because it’ll be hell to write, or you have 36 paragraphs without dialogue. However, as a fantasy writer, you might, occasionally, be stuck at a point where you need to be narrator heavy. When you are, make sure your character is in motion, interject her thoughts. Otherwise, move the scene around until you hit a point where another character can help you explain whatever it is you need to say. Whatever you do, don’t mistake dialogue for action, it’s only a feature of action.


Make it a conversation, leave a comment below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s