I re-read Try again
last night (one of my SG-1 fanfics). It brought some thoughts on some of my writing faults.
I'm guilty of taking shortcuts. By which I mean, I've got this story in my head -- fine. With scenes, and actions, and feelings. Still fine. It's pretty clear in my head, and even months afterwards, I understand why I've written what I have, because I *remember* the story. But I don't write the interstices. The links between the scenes, or the inner thoughts of the characters.
The inner thoughts in particular. It's like I'm afraid of going in their head, and showing what I find there. It's a shame, considering that's what writing does best: send the reader straight into the character's head, and have him experience the character's feelings from deep within. I don't do that. It's taboo.
But what am I afraid of?
Shocking the reader? Why? If I don't give the reader reasons to feel the story, why should he keep reading?
Shocking myself? Well, yes. Possibly. The noggin', it is twisted. I can deal with it, though.
Being true to the character? Being false to him? Because, it's my thoughts, my limited understanding of the character. I could be either very right or very wrong. I'll never know. I would hate being wrong, especially to my original characters.
Being boring? I have to accept that not everything is action, action, action. The inner life of the characters is interesting, too.
Afraid of telling, not showing? That's a biggie. Still not too sure of the difference, or when telling is beneficial to the story.
These shortcuts, they're big. It's not just taking exit A instead of exit B. It's folding the map to jump directly from Highway 01 to Town 36, like in this King's short story I can't remember the name of. I really need to take the scenic route, even if I end up wasting fuel.