Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 03:00 am:
I was googling around the web - trying to keep up with my press, as it were - when I found this on the TTA discussion board. It was in a thread on writing with the subject "Show or Tell?". The comments were by a fellow named Edward Morris and posted Jan. 31, 2006:
One pearl of wisdom that I took from an absolutely loathsome 'New Yorker'-has-been college Fiction teacher was that if something's too told and needs more scene, it's too told and needs more scene and there's nothing else to be done.
Lou Antonelli's "A Rocket For the Republic" (Asimov's, Sept. 2005) is entirely 'told', and in vernacular, no less. I was going back through it bit-by-bit, trying to get technical and cut open the golden goose and all that... and it shouldn't work. The aforementioned New Yorker idiot would tear it to pieces. "Too told, more scene."
Yet it does work, to such a degree that it sent me into mad gales of laughter reading it on lunch break at work... because Antonelli threw in enough misdirected fictional rope-a-dopes and one-two punches that, while the reader focuses on the narrative, several other technically brilliant things are going on.
Bravo, Mr. Morris - one of the best, if not the best, analyses of the story written to date! You found me out! You hit on a lot of the inner direction I had in writing the story.