Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

The Meta-Recipe


Show? Tell? Follow the “Rules”?

Today’s re-blog draws parallels between Writing and Cooking :-)

M.C. Tuggle, Writer

A Moveable Feast

Things got a little heated at the last meeting of our Sci-Fi/Fantasy critique group. One member said that the manuscript under review did not work. The reason, he insisted, was that a scene lasting two paragraphs of a ten-page story was exposition, and as everyone knows, “showing is better than telling.”

I disagree. Sometimes you enhance the pace with a little exposition. For example, does the reader really want a vivid, sensuous accounting of your protagonist fixing dinner? I’d say no — unless it’s central to the story.

And that’s the thing. A vital part of the writing craft is knowing when to apply the right rule. Even the best rule should not be mindlessly followed off a cliff.

Bill Daley, the Chicago Tribune’s food writer, recently offered what I call a “meta-recipe” for aspiring cooks. He calls it “10 steps six cookbook pros say you should follow to…

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