JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Robyn Opie Parnell, author of Show Don’t Tell: The Ultimate Writers’ Guide
(R&R Books Film Music)
Show Don’t Tell: The Ultimate Writers’ Guide is a comprehensive guide that will show you how bestselling authors use the technique of “show, don’t tell” to create their masterpieces. You’ll learn how they instantly hook audiences into each novel and keep them breathlessly turning pages until the very end.
This Ultimate Writers’ Guide features ten in-depth chapters and exercise segments on show-don’t-tell: what it is and how it works, fiction genres, characters, dialogue, conflict, plot progression, short story writing and editing for maximum effect. Robyn Opie Parnell includes more than 60 examples, which she discusses in detail to assist you in mastering show, don’t tell. Each chapter ends with a set of simple exercises to help you hone your own writing skills.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Show Don’t Tell: The Ultimate Writers’ Guide?
Robyn Opie Parnell: Mainly I write children’s books, but I also help and guide new writers. In my capacity as a writing teacher and mentor, it became obvious to me that many new writers struggle with the concept of showing instead of telling in their fiction manuscripts. Show Don’t Tell: The Ultimate Writers’ Guide was my way of helping new writers understand its importance to their careers.
JP: What sets Show Don’t Tell: The Ultimate Writers’ Guide apart from other books in the same genre?
ROP: To be honest, I couldn’t find many other books that dealt with this issue specifically. which is why I felt I needed to write one!
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Show Don’t Tell: The Ultimate Writers’ Guide getting out to the public?
ROP: It’s hard to know what makes a book popular. Having a book-deal with a traditional publisher helps because they can get my work into shops, schools and libraries.
Recently I’ve been self-publishing books on Amazon, which has been great but requires a different way of promoting. I use social media, of course, and promote to my website subscribers. After that, I leave it to the public to respond!
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Show Don’t Tell: The Ultimate Writers’ Guide?
ROP: My writing process varies depending on the book. Some of my children’s books for first readers may only taking a week or so to perfect. My YA novels may take up to three months.
I usually wait when I’m inspired, just a couple of weeks, to let the idea ferment and crystallize. Then I write every day until the first draft is down. I usually spend longer polishing a work than I do writing the first draft. I think that’s the right thing to do.
JP: What’s next for Robyn Opie Parnell?
ROP: I’m working on a family-oriented screenplay at the moment. A psychic once told me that Hollywood would want to make movies from my books – so I’m following that path at present. Who knows what will happen?