Today I would like to give a warm welcome to E.B.Walters who is visiting on her Mine Until Dawn tour so raise those wine glasses high for her (Hey, it's 6pm somewhere!) You can catch Shadow's 5-wine glass review of Mine Until Dawn *here*
Good morning and thank you for inviting me to stop by your site on the blog tour for MINE UNTIL DAWN, book 2 of the FITZGERALD FAMILY series. Today I’m going to talk about
SHOWING versus TELLING
The first time a critique partner scrawled these words on page after page of my chapter, I went, uh? I was clueless as to what she was referring to. As a self-taught writer, I knew that descriptive pros drew a reader in, but the journey from telling readers what’s happening to showing them has been bumpy but satisfying. Telling is unimaginative and boring. Showing engages the senses, makes readers visualize a scene and allow them to draw their own conclusion.
So how can you tell when you’re telling instead of showing? Lets start with a simple sentence.
My husband flirted with the waitress.
This sentence gets straight to the point and tells you what is going on. It is bland. It doesn’t engage the imagination or evoke any emotion. In fact, the writer leaves everything to the reader. Instead of wanting to read more, a reader is left wondering what the husband did for the narrator to draw this conclusion, how the waitress reacted and how the narrator felt.
The waitress leaned forward to pick up the empty plates, and deliberately thrust her chest too close to my husband’s face. He stared at the tight T-shirt barely covering her large breasts then said something. The woman’s high-pitched giggle filled the room. As she walked past him to serve the next table, my husband turned and watched her walk away.
Now this version is a bit more descriptive you must admit. A reader can visualize the scene and become engaged…maybe. Yes, there’s a bit of showing, but the passage is still impersonal. Something is missing. Why should you as a reader care about what the waitress is doing when the narrator doesn’t seem to?
The woman flung her platinum blonde stresses away from her face as she leaned toward my husband. Her black, ruffled skirt short rode high on her thighs, her boobs threatening to pop out of her red snug top. She fluttered her fake lashes as she talk, her hand lingering on his arm. I clenched and unclenched my fist when he leaned forward and pretended to read the writing on her T-shirt. He was checking out her enviable double-Ds, the letch. I crossed my arms over my less noteworthy chest. As though to mock me, he whispered something to her and she giggled, the high-pitched sound grating on my already frayed nerves. He turned and whistled as she walked to the next table with an exaggerated sway of her generous hips.
Okay, this passage may be wordy, but you see what I’m getting at. It is ripe with emotions. It is descriptive. We now know more about the waitress, what she wore, how she looked and the exchange between her and the narrator’s husband. But above all, we know about the narrator’s take on the scene. There’s pain as she watches the waitress and her husband, and a glimpse of her insecurities about her breast size. The entire passage is personal and raw with emotions. A reader is left with questions and the need to learn more. What is the narrator going to do after this scene? What is going to happen to her marriage? Maybe you wish she could get up, walk to the husband’s table and slap him upside down.
So there’s my take on showing versus telling. Stimulate the readers with descriptions and throw in a dose of emotions, and taa-daa!
HERE’S A SCENE FROM MINE UNTIL DAWN
“What’s it going to be, Vince?” Jade asked, interrupting his thoughts, daring him with her flashing eyes.
Short of keeping her in her office until he got what he wanted, he had no choice but to give in. Clenching his teeth, Vince stepped out of her office and turned to watch her. Her seductive, hip-swaying gait sent heat straight to his groin. He shifted his gaze away from her body.
“I’m not going anywhere without knowing your mother’s whereabouts, Jade.”
“Really?” She tossed her abundant mahogany hair and shot him a disdainful look. “How do you propose to get that information? What are you anyway? A cop? P.I.?” Without waiting for an answer, she turned her back to him and locked her office door. When she started down the hall, he fell in step with her.
It rankled she’d challenged him. Surprised him how she ignored him with such ease too. Women never ignored him. He slid a sideway glance her way. Her hazel eyes were fixed ahead, her lush lips set in an uncompromising pout, pert nose and determined chin stuck in the air.
The changes in her were amazing. The extra weight in high school had melted away in just the right places. Now the generous hips and rounded ass, tiny waist and well-sized breasts demanded a man’s attention. Her creamy skin still glowed with vitality and invited one’s touch.
Unfortunately, they weren’t in high school anymore and this sexy and aloof woman wasn’t the girl he felt he had something in common with. Not that it did him any good then. After their first meeting, she’d made a point of staying out of his way and snubbing him the few times their paths crossed. That had bugged him, an amazing feat for a kid already hauling a bucket load of hurt. It hadn’t mattered that the Fitzgerald practically ran the school—captain of the basketball team, head cheerleader, student council members, school newspaper. They were many, over-achievers and loaded, yet something about Jade had made her stand out called to him. Vince shoved his hands into his back pants pockets and scolded himself for deviating from his agenda.
“We need to talk.” Frustration made his voice harsh.
Jade didn’t respond. He took a swift breath of irritation and the scent of whatever else she smeared on her delectable body hit his lungs, causing him to swallow with difficulty.
“I’ll still be here after your class ends,” he added.
“You’ll be wasting your time. I’ve a busy schedule.”
“Then meet me tonight,” he heard himself say.
She stopped walking and turned to face him. “We have nothing to discuss, Vince. The person you need to speak with is my mother. You need to look her in the eye and tell her what you just told me. I’ll call her assistant at Fitz-Valdes to find a slot for you as soon as she comes back.” She turned and lifted her hand to push the door open.
Before he could question his intention, Vince shifted and slapped his hand on the doorframe, blocking her entrance.
WHAT DO YOU THINK JADE DID NEXT??? WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
By Ednah Walters
July 20 Firetrail Publishing
Chick Lit Romance with an element of suspense
BLURB MINE UNTIL DAWN:She's armed with a new attitude and a kick-ass wardrobe....
By age twenty-eight, art historian Jade Fitzgerald has had a marriage from hell and an equally nasty divorce, worked hard to control her weight and her arrhythmia. The last thing she needs is another man messing with her head or shooting her heartbeat off course. That is exactly what she gets when an aloof and mysterious stranger storms into her life.
He's cynical and don’t take crap from anyone....
Former investigative reporter Vince Knight is on a quest to recover a priceless, ancient Mayan artifact, which he believes Jade’s mother stole. He’s skilled at gathering information while remaining emotionally detached, until he meets Jade. The voluptuous woman stirs in him a hunger he hasn’t felt in a long time and a protectiveness he can’t explain.
Neither of them expects passion to flare so fast or danger to dodge their footsteps. To defeat a ruthless art collector with a twisted agenda, Jade and Vince must learn to trust each other and embrace their growing feelings.Until, an insane man plots to add Jade to his collection of beautiful and rare things.
Ednah is offering one digital copy of Mine Until Dawn to one lucky winner. To enter, just fill out the raffle copter below!
Ednah is also hosting a HUGE tour finale on her blog, go *here* to check it out!