It’s been a hot few days in this beautiful city.
Baking heat, empty sidewalks, ice cream parlours open day and night.
Citizens congregating around splashing fountains,
Tourists fanning themselves, looking especially exhausted.
The Danube dark and languid, its banks cool havens of peace.
Young and old slowing their brisk pace to an easy amble, a toned-down walk.
Buskers at every corner entertaining passers-by with slow jazz and swing.
Summer is great in this city.
People have been praying for rain since last week.
And now, finally, a few drops graced to come our way.
Well, it’s more of an enthusiastic drizzle with long breaks in between, but at this point we’ll take anything.
Not that anyone’s complaining…
There’s a wonderful Chekov quote that captures quite nicely what we’re looking for here at von reuth:
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
If you were ever part of a creative writing course, one of the first things you were probably told was: Show. Don’t Tell. (Next to “Write, write, write. And when in doubt, write some more.”)
Now, one problem here is how scale the ‘Show’ part. Where does ‘Tell’ end?
What can be taken as a given, what needs further description?
What needs a few more words, what works best in silence, between the lines?
That’s the tricky part, where art and craft meld to one.
Which is why practice is so important.
It’s the only way to find out one’s own scale of ‘Showing’ vs. ‘Telling’.
And with a help of few good readers who corroborate one’s scale by enjoying the words written, you’ll know.
By your readers’ need to know what happened next.
They’ll ask, don’t worry.
Don’t give up.
Keep on writing.
A word is dead
When it is said,
I say it just
Begins to live
– Emily Dickinson