Building the World All Over Again

So, many of you know I'm currently working on Book 2 of Across the Universe. And one thing that I'm finding is that I have to work at reminding readers of the world while not inundating them with things they already know.

Personally, the video "Replay" by Iyaz reminds me of what it's like to edit.

iyaz - replay [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
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Readers of my blog will no doubt remember some of my Music Monday features, where I talk about how a song or music video teaches me something about writing. I'm a nerd that way. Please bear with me.

When I first heard Iyaz's "Replay" on the radio, the thing that struck me was the line "girl, I could write you a symphony," which is underscored by actual symphonic music (it starts at around 2:17 if you'd like to hear what I'm talking about).

Here's the thing--this is what it means to "show not tell" (or in this case, "hear not tell"). One could argue that the whole point of the chorus is to "replay" and literally "show" the replay, though back-tracked snatches of the song. (For example, in the line "Like my iPod's stuck on replay--replay" the "replay" is literally replayed.)

OK let's bring this away from dancing bikini-clad girls and back to writing. I've discovered that the key to re-describing the setting and characters in Book 2 has been to show, and not tell. Instead of saying (again) that Godspeed, the setting of my books, is a spaceship, I show a character running her hand across the wall. Instead of talking about a fight between two of the characters that happened in Book 1, I show them being awkward and still unforgiving in Book 2.

I'm trying to let you hear the symphony.

This happens in the best sequels. Remember Gale and Katniss's awkward relationship in Catching Fire? Harry seeing the magic in Hogwarts in subsequent books? Ender's guilt after the Game?

Which sequels have you read that "showed" so well you could hear the symphony?

1 comment:

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Hi, Beth! Great lesson. The Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke was like that for me. So were the Percy Jackson books. :-)