Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Show! Don't tell!!

Sekadar mahu berkongsi apa bezanya antara tulisan amatur dan tulisan bermutu.

Yang aku boleh simpulkan,

Penulis amatur
1. Penulis amatur memberitahu tentang satu cerita.
2. Pembaca, pelanggan pasif, diberitahu bagaimana untuk menilai watak.
3. Penulis amatur berfikir tentang satu cerita dan memberitahu tentangnya.

Penulis mahir
1. Penulis mahir menarik penulis ke dalam cerita dan menyentuh emosinya.
2. Watak di'lukis'kan (dengan rinci) dan pembaca dibiarkan menilainya sendiri.
3. Penulis mahir mengambil langkah gergasi dan berfikir bagaimana mahu menunjukkan wataknya pada pembaca, bagaimana untuk menjentik fikiran dan perasaan pembaca. Ia lebih kerja, perlukan kemahiran yang lebih tapi lebih memuaskan untuk pembaca.

** ** ** **

The difference between skilled writing and amateurish writing is a complete difference in mindset. The amateur writer tells a story. The skilled writer draws a reader into the story and touches the reader's emotions. It's a completely different approach to writing.

Let me illustrate with an example of amateurish writing followed by an example of skilled writing. Here's a sample of what some people might write:

I was invited to his house, as were many people. He threw many parties, and the townspeople loved to come. So I was anxious to see for myself what kind of a man he was. You see, this man was a complete enigma, and there was much talk and much disagreement as to what he was like. To some of the guests he was an extremely gracious host who would do anything to make one feel comfortable. But there were other theories put forth, all equally probable or preposterous, as to what kind of person he was. I simply had to see for myself.

Here I've sketched a setting, but I have done nothing to engage the reader. I've merely begun to tell a story. Compare this with the same story as told by F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby:

"I like to come," Lucille said. "I never care what I do, so I always have a good time. When I was here last, I tore my gown on a chair, and he asked me my name and address—within a week I got a package from Croirier's with a new evening gown in it."

"Did you keep it?" asked Jordan.

"Sure I did. I was going to wear it tonight, but it was too big in the bust and had to be altered. It was gas blue with lavender beads. Two hundred and sixty-five dollars."

"There's something funny about a fellow that'll do a thing like that," said the other girl eagerly. "He doesn't want any trouble with anybody."

"Who doesn't?" I inquired.

"Gatsby. Somebody told me—"

The two girls and Jordan leaned together confidentially.

"Somebody told me they thought he killed a man."

A thrill passed over all of us. The three Mr. Mumbles bent forward and listened eagerly.

"I don't think it's so much that," argued Lucille skeptically; "It's more that he was a German spy during the war."

One of the men nodded in confirmation. "I heard that from a man who knew all about him, grew up with him in Germany," he assured us positively.

"Oh, no," said the first girl, "it couldn't be that, because he was in the American army during the war." As our credulity switched back to her, she leaned forward with enthusiasm. "You look at him sometimes when he thinks nobody's looking at him. I'll bet he killed a man."

The difference between this example and the earlier one is that in the second example, F. Scott Fitzgerald draws the reader into the story. In the first, the reader is a passive consumer of the story who is told how to evaluate a character. In the second, the reader's mind is engaged because the author simply illustrates the character and let's the reader draw conclusions about him.

The amateurish writer thinks up a story and then tells it. The skilled writer takes the story one giant step further and tries to think how to show the reader what the character is like, how to touch the reader's mind and the reader's emotions. It's more work, it takes more skill, and it is much more satisfying for the reader.

For another example, see which way of presenting a story draws the reader's emotions into the story:

Mr. Krueger sat alone on Christmas Eve. His wife had died five years ago, and he lived alone with his cat.

Compare that with this:

Mr. Krueger brought his little Christmas tree into the living room. "George," he said to the cat, "we've got to decorate." He scratched George on his neck. "Now, don't you go to sleep on me, George. This is Christmas Eve!"

On the table was a framed photograph of a woman. He set it off to one side and then looked at it. "Merry Christmas, Martha," he said to the picture. "Merry Christmas."

Again, the first example treats the reader as a passive consumer. The second tries to paint a picture that will touch the reader's emotions. The first example tells the reader explicitly what is going on. The second merely hints at it and lets the reader fill in the blanks, so to speak.

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spyz said...

inilah isi yg aku nak ckp masa editing aritu. tapi aku cakap dgn bahasa aku sendirilah ..

sebahagian besar(semua??) tulisan dlm Kalash bercerita dari sudut pandangan org ke-3 (3rd point of view). kita tgk watak, kita tulis ttg watak.

tiada dari sudut pandangan 1 (watak 'aku'). boleh juga monolog...

tiada sudut pandangan 2, watak 2 bercerita ttg watak 1 dan dirinya juga (yg ini biasanya byk dialog...).


jiGOMorrison said...

Terima kasih spyz!

Satu sebab kita tak boleh adakah prasuntingan ialah sebab banyak yang siap tulis minit terakhir.

Jadi kita cuma sunting dari segi ejaan dan tanda baca. Suntingan dari pengolahan cerita ni boleh siap kalau semua dapat siap awal.

Kalau siap awal, kita boleh adakan proses 'gempur tubi' cerita-cerita tu. Macam kelas penulisan jugalah.

Tapi yalah, penulisan ini adalah satu yang personal. Tak ramai yang nak kongsi melainkan kalau dah memang untuk dicetak.

Apa kata yang lain?

sinaganaga said...

Penyuntingan banyak bergantung kepada perancangan karja oleh Ketua Pengarang dan Pengurus Studio (kedua2nya merangkap kerja editor pengurusan).

Kalau kedua2nya tidak dapat merancang dengan betul - maknanya kerja2 tidak dapat disempurnakan dengan baik dan betul.

Terserah anda untuk mencari satu jalan penyelesaian kepada satu sistem kerja yang komprehensif.

Anonymous said...

this is good.