About two years ago when I decided to get serious about my writing, I was introduced to the SDT bully. I would write a picture book story, think I had done a good job, and this guy would arrive to point out all the things I had done wrong.
"Why do you TELL us the story instead of SHOWING us?" he sneers. "What, do you think your readers are so dumb they can't figure things out on their own so you gotta TELL them?"
I am surprised to hear the things my SDT bully is saying because after all, this is my "baby" he is talking about! At first I just want to pick up my stories and run away but this bully's words will follow me.
"I bet you're just too chicken to fix your story! I bet you don't even know how to SHOW and not TELL!"
Oh, that hurts. And makes me angry. But it also makes me realize behind this SDT bully's tough talk is actually some wisdom for me if I am brave enough to listen. I look at my story again and I start to see what my bully sees. I take a deep breath, pick up my red pen, and attack my "baby" with determination. I cut away the needless phrases and add action verbs. I mix in dialog to help carry the story and infuse my paragraphs with carefully selected sentences to captivate my readers so they will be drawn into my magical world. Sweat drips from the page as I pour my heart into my revisions...until finally I step away from my work and realize this SDT bully isn't a bully after all. He is just a "tough-love" friend who has my best interests at heart. Someone who challenges me to strip away the rose-colored glasses I am wearing and see my stories for what they really are...and even better...for what they will become...