Of Mantras, Writing, and Knowing When to Tell…

Your story lives within you. Write with it rather than about it.

Martha Alderson of Plotwhisperer for Writers and Readers

“Don’t talk your story out. Write it.” I heard that a lot during my participation in many writing workshops, but not so much like the almost overemphasized mantra, “Show. Don’t tell,” regarding the development of scenes.

The latter became such a sticking point in my mind that I, like many other fellow developing writers I failed to see that while you want to minimize and err away from great amounts of exposition, there are actually times when you need to simply state, tell, what is occurring.

The statement, “Show. And know when to tell,” offered at one workshop offered a bright, sensible and practical relief much like the axiom urging one to write rather than talk about their story, reveal their words to air rather than on paper.

And yet holding a budding story within you, keeping silent about it, allowing it to gestate, ferment and grow requires patience and development, not unlike developing a rapport with the medium of the water when learning how to swim.

Allowing a story to take root inside you is like learning to dive into the water.

Interaction with the personal unconscious by watching and befriending the dreams we have that are about primarily about us, the dreamer, prepare us for receiving and holding what the Kikuyu called big dreams, those whose characters and settings present in the symbols unique to the dreamer–faces and places she or he recognizes, those aspects of living that encompass concepts and messages regarding the dreamer, but that also extend to the society at large.

The writer must become acquainted with her or his unconscious.

Writing stories and dreaming our wishes into reality requires persistence, patience and perseverance.

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~ by Anjuelle Floyd on April 26, 2010.

2 Responses to “Of Mantras, Writing, and Knowing When to Tell…”

  1. I am certainly one for holding a story in and letting it marinate within me…no one even knew I was writing my first book until it was published..no one…thanks for this

    • Marinating our stories or allowing them to gather seasoning with us is a great way to put it.
      Like meat and other foods we do this with, our stories come out tasty and luscious.
      Thanks so much for commenting.

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