Entries by Paul Reali

The Schrödinger’s Cat of Writing: “Show, Don’t Tell”

“Show, don’t tell” is perhaps the most the famous, or infamous, instruction for writers. This reputation is deserved, as the phrase manages to be both absolutely right and dead wrong at the same time. It’s a kind of Schrödinger’s Cat, and knowing whether the rule is dead or alive, in a manner of speaking, can […]

Hearing Voices

Part of Charlotte Lit’s “Keeping Pen to Paper” Series. Writers who are developing their craft are frequently encouraged to find their voice. This can be confusing. Many of us write in many different forms — poems, personal essays, fiction, screeds, and so on — and different forms, even from the same writer, can require different […]

Show and Tell

Part of Charlotte Lit’s “Keeping Pen to Paper” Series. One of the great lies of writing instruction is “show don’t tell.” The truth is, you’ll need both. Here’s a quick primer, and an activity to help you to understand and use showing and telling. Showing is a catchier way of saying “in scene.” When we write […]

What do we owe each other?

Part of Charlotte Lit’s “Keeping Pen to Paper” Series. Today is (usually) tax day in the U.S., which got me thinking about the biblical exchange where Jesus is asked whether it’s lawful to pay tax to Caesar. He asks whose image is on their coins; they reply: ‘Caesar’s.’ To which Jesus says, ‘Then repay to […]

Using the Sense of Smell

Part of Charlotte Lit’s “Keeping Pen to Paper” Series. Writers paint a picture for our readers. We want them to see what we see, or what we’ve imagined. So it makes sense that the most of our writing focuses on what we see—that is, uses the sense of sight. But if you want to paint […]

Getting Lit at Home

So, you’re going to be spending a bit more time at home? You could binge Netflix, but we have some ideas for how to get more Lit. (Thanks to WCNC’s Charlotte Today for inviting us on to talk about these ideas.) Read more. We all have a stack on our nightstands. Plus, you can check […]

Genre Mystery Recommendations for Book Clubs

If your book club reads exclusively mysteries, or if your book club wants to try a year of mysteries, it can be a good idea to mix up the types of books you read. But how to categorize? Within the larger category of crime are sub-categories: thriller, suspense, and mystery…and within mystery are more than […]

“Just What I Needed” – Remembering Ric Ocasek

I discovered music when I was 16. Mike Lochner came into the boys locker room at Bishop Gibbons High School before cross country practice, bearing a giant silver boom box. He set it down on a bench, and reached for the Play button. Then he stopped. “You have to hear this,” he said. The button […]

What I’m Reading This Summer

Editor’s Note: This is the latest installment of summer reading picks from Charlotte Lit staff. Here, Charlotte Lit col-founder Paul Reali shares what he’ll be reading this summer. Each time I pick up my iPad with the Kindle app, or pick through the stack on my nightstand, my different selves do battle. Which Paul is doing […]