Leslie Wyatt, the author of Poor Is Just a Starting Place, was one of my fellow speakers at the Mo SCBWI Confluence Conference on Saturday, November 7. Her session was at the same time as my own, but I would have loved to hear her speak.
One of the things she talked about did got back to me “through the grapevine.” Leslie told attendees that there are times that they need to break the rule “show, don’t tell.”
If I never read another blow-by-blow account of a character getting out of bed, eating breakfast and/or getting on a school bus, I will be content.
There are things the reader doesn’t need to know. These transitions can be passed over quickly. We know how to unlock a door, make a pbj, and brush our teeth, so unless any or all of the above are integral to the plot or reveal something about the character through the quirky way that he does something, such as spreading the peanut butter with a tongue depressor, than we do not need to read about it. Just tell us that so-and-so made his lunch.
Then, please oh please, move on to more important things.
The reader will thank you.