I spend a lot of time talking with young writers about writing. Whether it’s the art of putting a novel together or ways to break into the industry, I get asked a lot of the same questions. So I thought I’d compile a list of tips here for writers getting started at any age. Maybe you’ve heard some of these before, maybe not. Either way, I hope they help you along your path.
1. Show, don’t tell.
Yes, you’ve definitely heard this before. A million times over. But what does it mean? The difference between showing and telling is the difference between sitting in a cafe in Paris sipping a latte and reading a menu online. You want to immerse your reader. If I’m telling, I’m over-describing, maybe even listing scenery. If I’m showing, I’m slipping in details where they fit naturally. If I’m telling, I’m talking about how my character feels. If I’m showing, the character does things characteristic of his feelings. Yep, it’s a hard rule to figure out, but once you do, it’s going to make your writing one hundred percent better.