Focus and "show not tell"
(Carpenter, Wyoming, USA)
Question: I'm curious if you have any tips for keeping your focus when you write. I'm not sure if it would be considered writers block or just a flighty mind but i find when i try to visualize what i want to write or even just when I'm writing it that i cant keep my brain on topic. It will all be in there perfect and then before i know it I'm thinking about a dog or some other completely unrelated thing.
Its not that i don't want to write it or that I'm not interested in it, i just can't keep myself focused on it.
My other question has to do with the show vs tell when writing. It really confuses me for some reason, i understand the basics, showing through description but how do i really know when i have crossed over into telling? And should i write out my first draft and not worry about it or should i stick with trying to show it to save time later?
A way to distinguish between showing and telling is that showing presents the evidence - sensory impressions - while telling summarizes or interprets the evidence. For instance:
Showing: Dave watched the bulb of water swelling on the underside of the tap, the tug of war between gravity and the drop's surface tension growing until the connection between the drop and the metal broke and the drop plunged downward, hitting the surface of the sink with a tiny thud. This happened again and again over the course of the next two minutes
Telling: Dave noticed the faucet needed repair.
There are times when telling works, such as in a transition between one key scene and another, or if you want to quicken the pace because the event is not terribly important. The more important the event is and the greater the emotional impact you want it to have, the more important it is to show, so that the readers can truly feel like they're in the main character's shoes.
As for focus, getting distracted suggests you are not sufficiently interested in what you are writing. Find something to write that you can be more interested in. Write something you can get deeply emotionally engaged with or excited by. Write something so awesome and moving to you that you can't bear to tear your attention away from it and you lose all track of time and the world around you.
I mean, why else write?