Thursday, November 24, 2011

Show Not Tell -- My entry -- Writing Challenge One

Hello Everyone,

    How is like going on? Enjoying? Hope so. I was reading through a few pages of the novel I wrote. (The novel isn't finished and I am not working on it now). I felt I was telling the story methodically all the time and wanted to edit the same. You know, the tell and not show principle. On the very first page, I needed to show how the MC thinks about a fully overloaded railway compartment. I wanted help and hence I have organized a Writing challenge this on blog here with the same theme. 

Here is my entry:
 The first draft describes the scene this way.
--x--

     In the first class compartment I have a berth reserved, where my buddy Ms. Edward is waiting for me. But I, Edward Newgate am in a general compartment. Life teaches many things to us & in them the basic lesson is "survive at all costs". Life of an average human is all about survival, seeing a hope for a better tomorrow, to give a better start for our kids than we have today. All such lessons are not taught in the top B-Schools of my nation. They are taught on the street. Someone aptly put is as "Wisdom is calling on the streets". Such lessons are better learnt in these general compartments, where people from various economic, religious, social backgrounds get going with their lives.
--x--
 Well after editing the same scene looks like this.
--x--
 The many a spit stains added aesthetics to the relatively new but shitty paint job. "Ahhh... get away get away.. shoo shoo" shouted a teen when a rodent, scavenging for food, started sniffing her heels. People choose to ignore her, clinging to their precious seats in the overcrowded railway compartment while a hawker or two continued traversing the length and breath of the train earning their daily bread, pushing people away, stomping a few and scowling at the rest. I can see the puppy face a child made, trying to coax her dad to buy her a candy as soon as she saw the candy girl.
    In the first class compartment I have a berth reserved, where my buddy Ms. Edward is waiting for me. But I, Edward Newgate am in a general compartment. Life teaches many things to us & in them the basic lesson is "survive at all costs". Life of human is all about survival, seeing a hope for a better tomorrow, to give a better start for our kids than what we have today.
--x--  
   This too is pretty shitty right? Got any quick tutorial about the SHOW AND NOT TELL rule? Did this rule help you while you were publishing / working on the your book? Got any good book which covers the same? Can you tell me how to edit the passage above? Do let me know.

with warm regards
Abhishek Boinapalli

2 comments:

zongrik said...

Life teaches many things to us & in them the basic lesson is "survive at all costs". -> Ghandi, although he was upper class, road in the third class to have first hand awareness of what his people were going through.

M Pax said...

Show what you want to emphasize. I do like your edit. It gives atmosphere, which I love.

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