Every writer has strengths and weaknesses. A writer who is a natural at dialog may struggle with action or description or something else. My Achilles’ heel is narrative summary—in all its many forms. (Arrrg!) That is a problem, because every book has narrative summary.
When it’s done well, readers don’t even notice the summarizing. It just seems like a natural part of the story. But if it’s not done well, it sticks out—like mustard on ice cream. Continue reading
There are lots of places in a book where the reader needs some detail but not a lot:
- When one character has to explain something to another character that the reader already knows.
- When characters travel from one place to another, but nothing key to the plot happens during the journey itself.
- When significant time passes between the end of one scene and the beginning of the next.
- When transitioning from one important sequence within a scene to the next key sequence.
In those cases—and a lot of others—writers summarize. Maybe summarize isn’t the correct literary term, maybe it’s telling when showing would be a waste of time. Either way, it’s something I struggle with. Continue reading