Author: Brett Williams
Genre: Fiction/Thriller/Horror -- Hardcore
Price: $ 16.95
Point of Sale: Lulu
Reviewed By: Cheryl Anne Gardner
Now, how you use narrative summary will also depend on the story you are writing and the genre you are working in. Some genres and stories lend themselves very well to a good deal of narrative summary and some don’t. Mainstream fiction tends to have a much faster pace, and readers want action. They want a scene based story, they want it to move quickly, and the language should be invisible to a great degree. Literary and experimental fiction seem better suited to narrative summary. Readers want ambiguity, they want language and style, they want a unique voice, and they tend to want a more leisurely read, one that gives them things to ponder: a story where some things are left off the page. Summary can be used in some wonderful and very exciting ways to stunning effect. I am currently reading The Gargoyle and the majority of the book is narrative summary, where one character is telling our protagonist of his prior lives. There is very little actual scene and very little dialog: actually, there is very little movement in real time in this story, and the protagonist is one of the most loathesome I have seen. But I'll review it later when I am finished.
So, you will never hear me tell an author to Show don’t Tell. The craft is all about learning how to balance the two in a manner appropriate for your story, and the art is all about making both as compelling as possible. The books I mentioned in the article are good places to start if you want to learn more about writing narrative summary along with Deepening Fiction and Words Overflown by Stars.
The Book Cover shown is from Show & Tell by Dilys Evans. The book deals with the art of illustrating children’s books, but the cover copy actually applies here as well: Show and Tell teaches the reader (the author) how to look for the perfect marriage of art and text.
Yup, that about says it all, doesn’t it.