6/13/2017 0 Comments
Sasquatch, Bald Eagles, and Murder
The photo is of a friend's neighborhood in the Colorado mountains. Beth invited her old critique group partners for a weekend writing retreat. While on a walk, we saw a bald eagle.
The eagle soared high in the sky. We were in too much awe to snap a photo, and besides, it would have been an indistinguishable speck. You'll have to take my word for it - three witnesses saw an eagle.
Which brings me to Sasquatch. I recently saw a ridiculous Sasquatch hunting television program. The men seeking the creature reminded me of the Three Stooges. My husband and I yelled at the TV, "Where are the game cameras?" They kept hearing noises and seeing evidence of Sasquatch, but never captured a photo. A couple well-placed game cameras could have solved the whole mystery.
Which brings me to murder. Writers are told to show, don't tell. What if you're writing a cozy mystery? You don't show the grisly details of the murder. If you are Jeffery Deaver, the details are part of the story. The advice to show, don't tell does not apply to every aspect of every story.
The lesson of my blog? If you want a photo of a bald eagle, carry a good camera and a telephoto lens. If you want a photo of Sasquatch, set up some strategically placed game cameras. If you want to write a good story? Know your genre. What are the expectations for your thriller, cozy, or police procedural? That will determine the details of importance to your reader.
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