“The Hulk” — a movie with a lot of crazy, dramatic action, but not much story. Movies that jump from one action-packed scene to another are like nonfiction books that have a lot of anecdotes but provide little commentary on the action.
I’ve had the opportunity to read a lot of nonfiction lately. It’s been a great exercise in what works and what doesn’t work for me, as a reader. And because I’m hard at work on a new project, the reading is also helping to inform my own writing. What I’ve culled so far:
What doesn’t work in nonfiction:
* A long, drawn-out anecdote to start the book, full of tangential information that is obscuring what otherwise would be a fine and intriguing story.
* Lots of telling with no action.
* Lots of action with no telling. There must be a blend! The old “show, don’t tell” adage should be banned…
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