What You Don’t Say
by Marlene Mesot
There used to be a game show called What You Don’t Say with the tag line: “It’s not what you say that counts. It’s what you don’t say.’ Writing is kind of like that. You can peek a reader’s interest by implication or withholding information but dropping clues or hints as to what they need to know. Here are my writing observations along this line.
1. Don’t Assume.
If you’ve ever taken a writing course, you probably noticed that most of the time, instructors refer to the main character as she, and occasionally he. Since you are speaking in the singular you can’t just say them. Why not give readers a choice by using he/she or she/he instead?
2. Action Speaks Louder in Words.
‘Lights. Camera. Action!”
Action is the key to moving your story along, keeping your characters moving and keeping your readers interested. Action and reaction builds suspense and keeps the story flowing. Keep the time to act and the time to think in balance. Get into your character’s mind when it is appropriate to the situation.
A time for everything reminds me of Ecclesiastes chapter 3. You might remember the song “Turn, Turn, Turn” by the Byrds based on this chapter of the Bible. The familiar King James version, Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” Or from the New American Standard version, Ecclesiastes 3:1: “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven–” I’ve included the second reading as i prefer this version of the Bible myself.
When expressing yourself as a writer it is good practice to use action verbs more than state of being verbs. Some readers, when narrating, seem to mix up the verb to live, (short i), with the adjective live action, (long i). There is a difference.
3. Show Or Tell?
It is appropriate to tell when you need to summarize to bridge a gap in time in the story. That is, to move the story from one place to another without having to include insignificant information. You can also tell when using description, but there are many ways to do this. You can use the omniscient narrator, or a perspective of one or more characters.
Show is perhaps more complex but adds dimension to the story. You can show the same thing by using different character’s perspectives on an event. Point of view is an important writer’s tool. You can show by how your character acts and reacts to events and other characters and emotional situations.
4. It’s Not What You Say.
The author will use a technique of saying something that seems off or out of place at the point in the story it is placed. This is a subtle hint that if something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. Then the author continues along a different path as if the thing wasn’t important. Was it? Sometimes detail is purposefully omitted in the hopes the reader will not feel the bump in the road or remember what it is connected to if anything.
Another technique is to begin to speak on a certain topic but then veer off in a different direction leaving an incomplete sentence or a thought unfinished. A story for another time.
Implication exists when the author seems to be saying one thing, or a character as well, but meaning another. Complexity in stories adds depth, meaning and layers to both the story and the characters.
The spirit doesn’t often move me to expressing my opinion about writing publicly. I wonder what I can contribute that hasn’t already been said. In spite of the title, I felt moved to say this.
News Nuggets: Marlene Mesot Announces New Release and More
by Marlene Mesot
The Snowball Effect, 4 Elements of Mystery Book 2, now available.
The Purging Fire Audiobook.
The Purging Fire, performed by Timothy G. Little is available in audio as well as print and ebook formats. Timothy expertly brings the story to life. He performed the character voices to perfection as voices are crucial to the story line. You can feel his caring in the narration. On a scale of one to five I give him ten stars!
The Purging Fire Brief Summary:
College student Melissa Sanders, who has vision and hearing loss, seems to be unavoidably present wherever danger threatens. She knows Alex has some dark secret he just won’t share.
As romantic interest sparks, college fire marshal Alex Marcus feels compelled to protect Missy from harm, until a violent misunderstanding breaks their marital engagement. Only then it becomes clear that Melissa has been the arsonist’s target.
Book Jacket Review:
“Love, mystery, suspense and romance all contained in one book! The Purging Fire is a true delight for the undercover detective in all of us! Wonderful work Marlene!” Benita K. Brown author of Elevator 16 YA Christian romance.
The Snowball Effect Brief Summary:
Snowy slopes, chilling behavior and soothsaying encompass this horrorscope in the sequel to The Purging Fire.
Alex and Missy become victims themselves when they try to help their newly found friend sort out the pieces of her confused past. All become engulfed in an avalanche of fear as circumstances turn deadly in The Snowball Effect.
Book Jacket Review:
An enjoyable story with unique circumstances. I like your dialogue. It flows easily. Can’t wait for the next book.
Author of the Tracy Gayle mystery series
I also have a separate novel titled The Cat Stalker’s Sonnets. This is also a Christian mystery romance.
The Cat Stalker’s Sonnets Brief Summary:
Catrin Lein is trying to begin a home business as answering service owner. As time passes, Cat begins to realize that she is being stalked. Slowly, the past creeps into her present, sending a message of a bleak, and possibly short, future.
Book Jacket Review:
“The Cat Stalker’s Sonnets surprised me in more ways than one! The melodious flow underlined with a mysterious edge kept me completely enthralled. This page turner will captivate and enchant all who delve into its pages.”
Rachel Loepker author of Bleeding Ink: Finding Purpose YA fantasy
I also have a poetry chapbook out in print and ebook titled Edgy Poetry. This is a food for thought piece which I have cited as not for bedtime reading.
If you share my passion for mystery, I hope you will visit my website at: http://www.marlsmenagerie.com
Also, please follow me on my new facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Author-Marls-Menagerie-186054134757613/
Thanks so much for reading. I love hearing from readers, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org