Thursday, March 22, 2012

Don't Tell Me!

"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass."

Yesterday, I found this quote from Anton Chekov on my Twitter page.  Writer Beth Vrabel had retweeted it. Lannie Wright had tweeted it initially.  I'm so glad that it made it's way to me.  Chekov's point is essential to good writing, especially to fiction.  In narrative, the writer's task is not to TELL the story.  The writer's task is to bring the readers into the story and make them EXPERIENCE it.  The readers should be able to hear, smell, taste, touch, and see the story.  If the novel's character goes on a journey (literally or metaphorically), excellent writing grasps the readers and takes them on the journey too.  The journey should be one of both the senses and the emotions.

Remember, in school, when you used to bring things for Show and Tell?  Forget the Tell.  Show.

Telling: It started to rain as Siobhan made her way home through the glade.  Siobhan was happy.  She liked rain.

Showing: A misty drizzle kissed Siobhan's nose.  Joyfully, she threw back the hood of her gray cloak, releasing her golden-red hair as she lifted her face to greet the rain.  The drops grew bigger, caressing her face with refreshing coolness. (from Soul Searcher of Willowsong Woods).

Use specific, sensory details.

Non-specific: The house smelled good.

Specific and sensory: As I walked into the house, the smell of cinnamon and allspice wrapped me in warmth.
Today, take some time to experience something fully with your senses.  Walk along the beach.  Sit in nature.  Eat a chocolate chip cookie.  Whatever.  But really experience it.  What does the beach smell like?  What does it feel like?  Sitting on a park bench, what can you hear?  What does the sun feel like?  Is there a breeze? What does the bench look like?  How does it feel?  How do you feel, physically, emotionally?  What does a chocolate chip cookie really taste like?  What words could you use to help someone share the experience--hear the beach, see the park, relish the cookie?

Have you ever lived a story along with a character?

What brought the story to life for you?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Soul Searcher Update

Hi Everyone!

At the advise of a literary agent, I've taken the excerpts from Soul Searcher of Willowsong Woods off of the Goodreads sites.  This is no reflection on Goodreads.  It is an excellent site both for readers and for writers.  I was told, however, that it is unwise to put excerpts from a novel that has not been contracted yet online.  So that is a lesson that I learned and I pass it on to you.

I would love still to get your feedback on the brief synopsis I gave of the plot (see the blog from March 14th).

Would you be interested in reading a story about a rebellious teenage fairy who wants to defy tradition and become a Dragon Learner?  If you were to journey with Siobhan through Shadowshield Mountain, what would you want to encounter or find along the way?  What would you be terrified to encounter?

Blessings and Joy on St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Soul Searcher of Willowsong Woods

     I've started a new novel.  It's a Young Adult Fantasy called Soul Searcher of Willowsong Woods.  The main character, Siobhan Willowshee, is a fourteen-going-on-fifteen ages old fairy.  By age fifteen, Siobhan must start training for her life's service.  Most young women in Willowsong and its surroundings have no choice; they follow the path of service taken by their mothers and grandmothers.  Siobhan, however, has two paths from which to choose.  She can be a banshee like her mother or a unicorn protector.  Being a unicorn protector is a service that is gifted to a select few and Siobhan has been chosen.  But she isn't interested.  She sees nothing special about unicorns and considers them pampered, silly-looking horses.  This is especially true, she feels, of Cay, the unicorn who selected her and whom Siobhan considers  to be nothing more than  a nuisance.  Nor does Siobhan want to spend her life as a weeping, wailing banshee.  Instead, she wants to become a Dragon Learner like her father.  This idea scandalizes her mother since, after all, a woman's heritage is from the maternal line.  Still, Siobhan is determined to follow her heart rather than tradition.  This decision sets her on a journey through the mysterious and dangerous Dragonsword Forest and to Shadowshield Mountain, home of Riordan, King of the Dragons.

 Blessings,  C.F.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Out Sick--Sorry!

I'm sorry that I haven't blogged for the last few weeks.  An upper respiratory virus got the better of me and turned into pneumonia, so I've had to lay low for a while.  Now I am, thank God, on the road to recovery.  I promise to return to the Dark Forest by next week.  Thank you for your patience.