Welcome back! For the second week of the Rainbow Editing checklist, we're covering orange! Symbolically, orange is a color of action and intelligence, so I thought it appropriate for the over-quipped, sometimes under-used "Show, Don't Tell". The thing I've discovered about SDT: the showing doesn't apply so much to over-detailing every pebble on the road and piece of litter as it does the emotional content of a scene. But we'll get to that.
Ready for the list? Let's go!
Overall, the main theme of the Orange checklist is to trust your reader, and assume that they are relatively intelligent. They'll remember what you've already told them, and they have everyday experiences of their own to bring to the table. You don't want to show them how life works, in general: you want to show them how life works for this group of characters that you've created, and you want them to become involved and care about the way it ends out. I don't know about you, but telling me how great a book is doesn't really make me care about it. If you sit me down on a couch, put that book in my hand, and say "Here. Read this. I'll go occupy myself while you enjoy it"? I will. I may, in fact, forget that you're there. And isn't that what we want our readers to do?
Next week, get ready to go green, when I cover character and point of view. See you then!
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