Un article de Robert Silverberg


Dans le dernier numéro de la revue Asimov's, Robert Silverberg signe un article autour de ses conseils d'écriture.

Il est à lire en ligne.

Voici le début :
"SHOWING AND TELLING by Robert Silverberg

One of the most frequently repeated mantras of writing instructors and the leaders of writing workshops is “Show, Don’t Tell.” By which is meant, “Define your narrative situations by depicting people in conflict, not by telling your reader about the people and their problems.” Writers are urged to think of themselves as movie cameras, observing and recording the doings of their characters as they go through a series of significant events. Editorial comment by the author, standing outside the action and letting us know what to think about it as it occurs, is discouraged. “Plot is character in action,” we are told: you show your people meeting their challenges in the way that is characteristic of them—note the repetition of terms—and thus a story will unfold. Beginners are warned of the perils of “expository lumps,” great unbroken masses of author-provided data, which these days are more frequently called “infodumps.”

There is wisdom in such teachings. By and large I have lived by them myself over the course of a career that now stretches more than fifty-five years. I think of a story as a series of vividly visualized scenes that eventually reveal a meaning, without the need for me to provide extensive hints about what’s going on. (Except when I do feel that need. I’ll get to that next issue.) It’s an effective storytelling technique, long proven by example. No less a writer than Henry James—whose work is nobody’s idea of fast-paced action fiction—constantly abjured himself to “Dramatize, dramatize!”—don’t spell it out, just show characters in opposition, as though on a stage."
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