My beloved friend Megan is a graphic design major at CSU Chico. Now, I’ve seen some of the things that graphic design majors have to do–my friend Ryan Wunn, with whom I’m collaborating on FRaHGRttS, was one, and I’ve seen some of his school projects.
One of the projects Megan had to do was to design a book. Ryan had to do this also, but I believe he just made the cover design. Megan’s class had do pretty much everything associated with constructing a book, apart from actually writing the content. I’ve seen the workshop. I’m talking cover design, pressing, and even gluing and sewing the damned thing together. Ryan did an excellent design for Bram Stoker’s Dracula (I guess using books that are in public domain is the norm).
Megan, Goddess that she is, asked if she could use Catch.
It’s funny that she asked. Did she expect that there was any possibility I’d say no?
I know that many authors have printed versions of their self-published works, and that’s nice. But this is one of only two hand-crafted hardcovers of Catch. They’re the only two that will ever be made with this particular format.
Show, don’t tell. Show, don’t tell. That’s the mantra that most writers write by. The Reader wants to feel like he or she is in the story. The Reader wants to be an invisible voyeur, but still have intimate relationships with the characters.
What I’m wondering is, can I write a story that tells instead of showing, and still end up with something people want to read?
That’s what I was trying to do when I wrote Francis Rhododendron and Humanity’s Great Return to the Sea. I didn’t want to use embellished prose. I didn’t want to go out of my way to try to “insert” the reader into the action. I wanted to say what was happening, and why. I wanted to zoom out a bit and just observe, maybe with a sarcastic or cynical spin to give it the necessary impact.
I decided to rely on the story itself to hold interest. I wanted the events to speak for themselves.
With any luck, FRaHGRttS will read like a humorous fictional history lesson.
I suppose it also bears repeating that this is the novella that my friend is illustrating, and that we’re going to release in (extremely short) episodes.
But still, I have doubts. Might just be jitters because every day is a day closer to the release (even though we haven’t even really settled on a date yet).
But I’m hoping that someone will care to opine. I’d like to know if anyone else thinks it’s possible to have a story that tells instead of showing, but is still enjoyable.
I’ve seen Sample Sunday here and there around the writers’ Blogosphere for quite some time now, and I’ve always wanted to take part. Here’s a little excerpt, straight from my WiP, the working title of which is Ethan.
After a while, Ethan realized that the old man was only keeping such a slow, hobbling pace for Ethan’s own benefit. The man never stuttered or paused, but Ethan became winded easily even at their sluggish progression, and had to take regular breaks.
“So,” Ethan said during one such break. “My name’s Ethan.”
“You told me that already,” the old man said.
“Right. Well, what’s your name?”
The old man seemed startled by the question, and he thought for a long moment before he responded. “Miles,” he said at last.
An awkward silence followed, and when it started to wear on Ethan he said, “So…how far is this place we’re going, anyway?”
Miles stiffened and glared at Ethan. His eyes widened until it looked like his eyeballs might roll right out of his face if they opened up too much more. Then he said, “Miles,” and he burst into tremendous gales of his gravelly, whooping laughter again.
So far I’ve only put my first novel, The Fire Itself, in that section, but I’ll be adding the synopses for my recently completed novel Iris and my work-in-progress Ethan quite soon.
(NOTE: The names of those last two are the working titles–my working titles are always just the names of my MCs. Both Iris and Ethan will be renamed in the future when my muse delivers better ideas for titles.)
(ANOTHER NOTE: After final revisions and dependent upon cover design options, The Fire Itself may also undergo a name change. The tentative future title is Catch. Just so you know.)