August 2001 Issue
|Vol. 1 No. 4|
Guest Columnist: Idelia Phillips
Article by Lee E. Meadows
Since the debut of LitLine in May
of this year, I have received many
responses from readers, writers, recording artists and
I am blissfully overwhelmed by the
responses that I have received, each
offering a positive word of encouragement or a helpful hint to
make LitLine better.
I would first like to thank God for allowing me to make LitLine a reality. It is through God's grace and blessings that LitLine became an on-line publication. I would like to thank my regular contributors Reverend Cornelius R. Wheeler, Lee Meadows , Lisa R. Cross and Adam Wilson. Without you, LitLine could never be possible. I want to especially thank Lisa Cross for encouraging me to publish an on-line newsletter. It was through her words of encouragement and support that I finally gathered the resources and talent to make it happen. More...
Don’t “Tell” Too Much (DESCRIBE IT!)
do you, as a writer, “show” what’s happening in the story as
opposed to “telling” the story? Use action verbs and dialogue,
weaving the two throughout the story and keeping the narrative at a
minimum. Many experienced writers will tell you that a good writer will
use both —showing and telling. But
be very careful to balance the two throughout the story.
Showing allows the reader to participate, reflect, ponder and
discern along with the main character or characters. If the reader
can’t get “involved” in the story, then the novel becomes nothing
more than a book report or a book review.
describe to the reader what’s happening in a scene, concentrate on the
character’s five sense. Use
words that are sensory cues—seeing, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.
Provide graphic, realistic images that “draw” your reader to the
story. Remember to keep a balance between describing and telling. Too
much description may send the reader into sensory overload. It’s
exhausting to the reader and to the character(s).
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Cornelius R. Wheeler
Co-Pastor, Vermont Avenue Baptist Church Washington, DC
came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees
fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? (Matthew 9:14)
ever there were a downfall to the practice of religion on earth, it is
exemplified in this little verse from Matthew’s gospel.
The church folk, so to speak, (scripture says these were the
disciples of John) came up to Jesus with the question “Why do we and
the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?”
Lee E. Meadows
Hopkins provides the first person of color as amateur in detective
fiction. In Talma Gordon, the reader is given a person for whom social
standing is not a barrier and the use of language is not prohibitive.
Her ‘mulatto’ blackness is used as a commentary on the times and a
backdrop to the mystery. Talma’s role in the actual resolution of the
mystery is limited, it is her refined educational background, caste
standing, ‘negroless’ features which allow her to move comfortably
within established social circles.
establishment of an educated woman of color with no formal investigative
training remained an obscure use of a protagonist in a novel until the
1990’s. The emergence of Investments Counselor Virginia Kelly (Baker,
1991), Professional Maid Blanche White (Neely, 1992), and State
Government employee Theresa Galloway (Grimes, 1996) and County Social
Worker Candi Staton (DeLoache) visibly changed the landscape.
Authors Neely, Baker, DeLoache and Grimes build on the amateur
sleuth, woman of color, educated and professionally trained model that
Hopkins established in the first part of the century. Their protagonists
share a common sense of social justice and an unavoidable perspective on
race relations while relying on their intuition, curiosity and personal
and professional network to bring resolution to the mystery.
Copyright © 2003 Wanda Moorman. All rights reserved.
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