Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Writing Exercise - Show Details

This is my sample of a writing exercise I used in my Creative Writing class. The challenge was to rewrite a "telling" scene into a "showing" scene. Enjoy!

The original telling scene: (The underlined parts are specific "telling" parts that need changed.)

It was late in the evening, and she could tell it would soon start raining. She was young – a teenager – and fairly wealthy. The street was starting to become wet. She had just finished a screaming match with her boyfriend. Their relationship was headed for the edge of a cliff after what she had done to him. He had told her that he deserved better than her, and she believed that he was right.

Rewritten to show:

The moon cast a silvery glow through the elms lining her neighbor’s drive. Searching for those patches of light on the gravel, Amy eased her way toward her dark house. Yard light off, parents almost certainly asleep, she breathed a sigh into the cool autumn air.  October was chilly in west Colorado, and it had a tendency some nights of letting a heavy, five-minute rain flush from the sky. A peal of thunder told her this was one of those nights. The paint of her tall, columned house seemed to glow under the flicking rain and moonlight, and its many windows blinked like eyes, accusing her with each flashing bolt.
A gentle step across the wooden porch. A soft turn of the key, a twist of the knob. Amy tried to keep her body’s movements silent, but her mind was reeling with noise.
“You’re unbelievable!” he’d shouted. “What were you thinking?” The air had been filled with cutting words, words of disgust and hate – words of truth.
Amy welcomed the sound of her bedroom door clicking shut. Her shaky fingers reached for her hair-tie and let her ponytail fall like damp curtains around her shoulders. Stepping in front of the mirror, she stared into the murky, brown pools of her eyes – the eyes of a liar. Beside her, the cutest smile in the world filled a frame. She lifted it from the dresser top and smiled back at it with one side of her mouth.
“Better,” she whispered into the still air of the room, moving to the edge of her bed. The sheets surrounded her head like a hood as she lay back. “You deserve better.”
She shivered and pressed the glass frame against her lips, then let it slip to her chest, which is where she would find it in the morning when she awoke with a dry, salty crust along her cheeks.

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