I like to think of myself as a student of writing. I often tell my writing buddies that I've learned more about writing this year than I thought a person could know about writing. And I've just learned something else. (Including how to use the word "writing" four times in two sentences.)
I was chatting on Facebook the other night--no surprise there--with a friend of mine from high school. As if that's not scary enough, he said something that made me pause and think. T-man is wise beyond his years, even if he doesn't know it. And he's younger than me, and that's even more terrifying. I have an awesome picture of us at a dance where I'm kicking this fake glass thing with T-man, so we go way back. And that picture will never surface, so don't even ask.
So we were chatting about writing and he said he's written some screenplays. I was impressed, because I don't know the first thing about screenwriting. He said, "You can't say, 'He was mad.' You can only write what a camera can see or a microphone can hear."
I was like, "Wow. That sounds hard." Then I realized that that's exactly what I should be doing in my fiction writing. It's the old "show vs. tell" mantra. So yesterday I opened a little snippet of my writing to send to my critique group. I noticed how many things I had in just six pages that a camera wouldn't be able to see and a microphone wouldn't be able to hear.
But I'm all about applying what I learn, so I'll go through my stuff to make it more showy. Does that mean I'll cut every thumping heart? Probably not, because I'm all about emotion in writing, too. But it was a good reminder of what I should be doing in my writing.
And on a bonus side note: I've finally realized the power of Facebook. I still don't know what to do with the vampire clans, and I haven't found scrabble yet, but at least I've gleaned something from my Internet addiction. Silver lining, baby. Silver lining.