the_author() rating onrating onrating onrating onrating on


Show Don’t Tell

By M.E.Traylor, member

Aug 6, 2010: I nearly didn’t read this story the first time I came across it, because I read the first two scenes, and foresaw angst of an unpalatable nature. Then I came across it again through an ad, and kept reading. I am enjoying myself, a LOT. There is angst, but it’s working.

I am continually drawn to stories that don’t hand me the answers. That provide me with what I need to know, then let me —make me— use my skills of observation and make my own connections. I don’t want to be told what’s going on, I want to find out. I don’t want to be spoon-fed an understanding of what’s happening for the characters or in the plot, I want to develop my own relationship with the story. It slows the pace down, makes it more real to life. Sometimes I’m horribly confused, but I like that.

I love the precise, minute details. The setting and characters of most scenes are sharply clear to me, and everything outside of that particular scene seems dim by comparison. I love the dialogue that doesn’t try to include me as the reader, because the characters already know what they’re talking about and they have no reason to try to explain it to me. They are real, in this way, not fictional.

Ysabel, who could be the most stereotypical of characters, is slowly revealed facet by facet to be an actual person. The Mooncalfe and the Duke fascinate me. There are many characters who I simply want to know more about.

This story is a great mirror for me as a storyteller because I use similar techniques. It shows me what works for me as a reader and what doesn’t, which can help me see what might work in my stories and what might not.

There’s something often-times square-edged about the flow of this story, something a little jagged about some scenes or lines that catches me and slows me down instead of drawing me along. It’s not how I would write it, but it may be intentional on the part of the author. There’s also a lot of description of clothes I don’t know about (I’m a simple soul), and songs I’ve never heard of. Sometimes I find this distracting, other times it really enhances the experience for me. Sometimes the description takes a dive for overkill, which blurs the visual into a goopy grey puddle for me instead of clarifying them.

But I dig this story so much right now. I’m glad I came back.

5 of 5 members found this review helpful.
Help us improve!  Request an invite or log in to rate this review.