There's a pretty interesting conversation going on in the comments to Bookends, LLC most recent post, "Agency Policies." The topic is pretty basic: why do agents require personalized query letters and no mass emails? But it's nice to see the thought-out and detailed explanations by agents Jessica Faust of Bookends, and Colleen Lindsay in the comments.
In those comments above are a couple from JJDebenedictis, whom I first encountered through a quote in Writtenwyrrd's blog. From these comments, I decided to visit JJ's blog, and one of the current posts is also addressing some basics, in this case, of writing stories. She breaks down plot points (the risk of ambiguity), subtext, backstory and the over-arching idea we all hear about at one time or another, "Show, don't tell."
It all comes down to the reader's imagination.
"Show, don't tell," according to JJ, is really just giving the reader a few key details and letting them fill in the blanks, when it comes to description. In the example of the second Star Wars movie (the new second one, Attack of the Clones), the IMAX version made the movie better in terms of action and plot. Redundant scenes were cut for length, and the love story between Anakin and Padme was reduced to a few hinting glances and touches. Viewers filled in the blanks and the relationship worked.
The post is the last of five, but works all by itself, and the examples are clear and pretty useful, I find. Even if you already know the "rules," this is a handy post to read.
Lastly, if you haven't watched "Die, Vampire, Die," I heartily suggest it. It's funny, but it speaks to that worry in many of us (writers, artists, performers)--the awful voices in our heads that say 'it isn't good enough.' The video is embedded on the blog a few posts down.
Happy weekend,happy writing,