From the Author
Okay, I'll keep this brief. Most people don't read introductions anyway.
I wrote this book because it's the book I wish I had when I began writing many years ago now. It would've saved me decades of effort and made me far more productive. As it was, I had to discover this method on my own, but I'm so glad that I did.
If you're just starting out on your path of writing, first of all, welcome! And secondly, the book you have in front of you is filled with unusual ideas that actually work, simple steps to take that will save you rivers of time and keep you far from countless storms of frustration. Everything here has been tested for years, over and over, by my students, fellow writers, and friends.
It might seem stupidly obvious once you see what this technique is all about, but for many writers, it's still a mystery.
I know it was for me, as well as all my writing students I've worked with for a decade now. They would struggle with their first drafts, often giving up entirely on what they started. But then this one simple step changed everything for them, as it did for me. Now I want to share it with you.
What is it? It's just this: Tell, Don't Show.
Despite what you've been told, Showing is NOT the best thing a writer can do. It is ONE thing a writer can and should do, but only at the right time or thereafter. That time is absolutely NOT during your first draft.
Why not? I could lead you by the brain through pages and pages of explanations, and share with you personal stories of many dozens of writers whose work was transformed by this one tiny technique. But because I believe it's best for you to get started doing this yourself, I've purposely kept this book brief.
Nevertheless, here's a short summary of why Showing is not a good thing in your first draft:
- It's too easy to get tangled up in long descriptions and lengthy passages
- You can quickly lose sight of the big picture of your story, which, for many writers, is a story-killer
- Your creativity gets stifled when you nitpick over the details
- You break your flow, your word count plummets, and it's difficult to get started again
In addition to that, you'll find that your speed of writing accelerates dramatically when you stop Showing during your first draft. As Ray Bradbury stated so elegantly in his book Zen in the Art of Writing, "In quickness is truth." The more we hesitate and cogitate over our writing, the less honest it is, and the less we actually write.
What I'm sharing in this book is a simple and unforgettable skill that you'll be able to start using today. There's no webinar or classes or lengthy books to first be paid for and digested. I speak for myself and for everyone whom I've taught this technique to: there's no going back. You won't want to. Your writing will never be the same once you begin doing this.