What Do We Know About Mrs F by Brenda J Wood

Mrs. F., as the sheriff calls her, that is Mrs. Fletcher of Murder She Wrote fame is not as mysterious as one would think.

She eats like I wish I did, lots of fruit and veggies, preferring seafood over steak. She never eats a full dessert although she’s been known to have a bite or two of someone else’s. Mrs. F. is an occasional but very light drinker.

She has been a widow for a long time but still wears her wedding ring, which tells me she loved her Frank dearly and is fending off new suitors.

She enjoys the company of men but only as friends. You will never catch her in an awkward embrace. After all, Mrs. F. lives in the big old house of her marriage, which explains a bit about her income and her continued attachment to hubby Frank.

Mrs. F. doesn’t drive, but she is licensed to fly a plane. Her preferred exercise is an early morning run, but she also bikes all over town.

She and Frank didn’t have children, but nieces and nephew and other distant relatives show up where plot advancement is necessary.

She knows how to dress to suit the occasion and is quite at home in blue jeans and sequined ball gowns.

How do I know all this? The scripts haven’t mentioned most of it. No, I know because of the show not tell way the stories are laid out.

Like this TV show, our books could also do with less telling and more showing. Think of all we deduced just because the widow wears a wedding ring and lives in the same house. There is no need to explain a three-mile run if the star of your book shows up in a sweatsuit with a towel draped around her neck.

So, show more and tell less, so that your plot moves along at a faster pace. Readers’ imaginations will charge into overdrive and we won’t bore them with long descriptions of the kind they skip over to get to the real story.

Brenda J Wood, author and motivational speaker

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