Show me, don't tell me — Writers Secrets part 1

Anton Chekhov showing what he means...
Anton Chekhov showing what he means…


In a nutshell, if you have to tell me how something tastes, feels, sounds, smells, or looks? I don’t want to know.

In Mammoth Secrets, Lilah’s only comfort is found cooking for the locals… here is a scene where she and the new pastor share a moment over her daily special…

“That’s the first and only special I’ll sell today.”
Lilah grinned. “I could start orders before any hit the
wheel. Don’t know why I bother.”
“It’s hard to step out of your comfort zone.” Jake
sipped the tart-sweet lemonade. He took a bite. Flaky,
hints of heat, fresh and succulent with garden fresh
“Good?” By her tone, she knew the answer

Tight writing, with quick-moving descriptions keeps readers in pace without getting bogged down on details. There’s a lot more going on here than just the ordering of food, the sampling of a fish sandwich…

Just fishing?
Just fishing?

Later, on the porch, watching the river roll lazily by, the true nature of Lilah’s struggle is brought to light…

“You’ve heard my story by now, I’m sure.”
“Actually, no.” He leaned back in the metal rocker. “Is it a comedy? Or a cautionary tale?”
That made her laugh. Her elbow jostled and coffee
splashed her thigh. She blotted it with the cloth he
handed her. “Thanks. Sure the prayer chain hasn’t left
you a list of my latest debacles?‛”
He frowned into the dark brew. “They mean
“It’s just a way to use God to gossip,” she said,
blowing the heat from her drink.
“It can be.” Jake nodded, his clear gaze reflecting
the hurt that dogged her soul.

His mouth drew into a lazy smile. “So, friends?”
She considered, a heaviness washing behind her
eyes. At last, she nodded. Friends it would have to be.
“I don’t know why you’ve decided to make me your
focus group, Pastor Jake.”
“Let’s just say I’m a sucker for hard luck cases.”
She laughed. If only he knew the whole truth.

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