Make a Show of It

“Show, don’t tell.” I’m reading Toni Morrison’s A Mercy and last night came across a passage that vividly spoke to this advice. In the passage, Morrison shared why Lina and Mistress had become friends. She could have summed it up in a telling way, like “they were useful to each other.” Instead she showed why:

“They became friends. Not only because somebody had to pull the wasp sting from the other’s arm. Not only because it took two to push the cow away from the fence. Not only because one had to hold the head while the other one tied the trotters. Mostly because neither knew precisely what they were doing or how.”

As you edit your fiction or poetry submission for this week’s writing challenge, think about how you can show, succinctly, your character’s experiences, feelings, or actions. But first things first. Are you slogging along, still stuffed with turkey, unable to string a sentence together on your own?  Here’s our prompt for this week:

How come no one warned me?

This optional prompt is to serve as your inspiration for your fiction or poetry. Use the question, word for word, in your story or poem, or just answer the question. Think of the not-so-obvious direction. What kind of warning could you expect — a red flag, a secret signal?  Already have your own story idea? No problem! The prompt is only there if you need it.

Final week of the fall writing contest

Interested in winning cash? How about chocolate, and maybe a book to read too? It’s the last week of our fall contest but there’s still time to join. Just be sure to register for the contest by filling out this entry form. The three best in the competition will win prizes, and those who refer the winners will receive matching prizes, so spread the word! Make sure your entry is the best on the grid before you submit. General rules of each genre apply, and our submissions editor will make sure they pass muster before advancing to the voting. Have more questions? Visit our contest page.

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The fiction|poetry writing challenge is open for submissions!