Monday, January 20, 2014

The Dreaded Info-Dump - Show Don't Tell

Oh, the dreaded info-dump...

So many of the recent books and stories I have read do this. And, as a reader, it pisses me off. As a writer, though, I understand the temptation. I have a motto written on my laptop: Show Don't Tell. Is it easy, hell no. Should I take it to heart, hell yes.

In my recent writings, I am currently stumbling with the idea of showing versus telling. I have one particular paragraph in mind which I think I have written and rewritten about six times (of course, I save each version until I'm positive I won't like it later on) and still don't like. I feel like I'm telling more than showing...

and, it pisses me off!

Here's the latest attempt:

“Queen, I will not lie,” well, at least I would try not to lie, too much, I told myself, “to you. Zeus, lord of the gods, was here earlier. We, nymphs, tried to hide from him. But, as you know, we aren’t very subtle.” I tittered a little at that. What an understatement. It was Zeus’ work, the castration of his own father, which created us. As his father’s seed rained to Mother Earth, she covered it with her own fertile soil and from each drop was born a nymph within the life-force of a living tree. As soon as we matured, we stepped forth from our trees and followed our mother’s path. We spread fertility across the lands. Subtlety was not an inherent aspect of creation and birth. The god Priapus was proof of that. His erect and engorged rod made my nub enflame just in recollection. “But, it was not to be. He stayed only for a short time. We didn’t even have the time to, well, you know… Anyways, we were so despondent after his absence that when the satyrs happened by we didn’t have the heart to flee. It was easy pickings, Queen. I found myself beset by two of the horny beasts. They handled me quite rudely, thrusting-

I hate this, I really do. And, this is the best I have to date, at least to me. Just doesn't flow right, sounds too lecture-like and not enough like moving along the plot. I don't know, maybe I'm just reading into it. More me and my opinions than reality.

What do you think? Any suggestions?

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