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This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Practice Writing: Showing vs Telling.

So, I joined this free online writing class where they send you lessons to your email. http://www.creative-writing-now.com The exercise: Harry and his wife Angela (feel free to change the names) visit a new house they're thinking of buying. Angela is enthusiastic about the house, but it's really a terrible place. Harry hates the house but is afraid to say what he really thinks. Show the scene. But... do *not* tell the reader explicitly that the house is terrible. Do *not* say outright that Harry hates it. Do *not* have Harry directly tell his true feelings about the house to his wife. Instead, try to make the reader see and feel what's going on. 10 min exercise. (Names have been changed.)

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Adil and his wife, Hanan pulled up behind the black sedan of their real estate agent, Sarah Gigs. Hanan looked out the window.

“This is it,” she said grinning and bouncing in her seat.

She jumped out the car before Adil turned off the engine. He looked at the house and frowned. The house was smaller than it looked on the picture Sarah showed them and there was a lot to be said about the old, worn-down pathway leading to the porch and the dried up grass and dead shrubbery that littered the front yard. Hanan beamed as Sarah explained the features of the house while unlocking the front door.

“It has four rooms, a living room and dining room. It has a cute nook between the kitchen and foyer. It has a huge backyard that I think you are going to fall in love with and has a Gazebo the last residents built.”

Hanan went from room to room giggling. She always giggled a lot when she got excited.

“Look at this place, it’s amazing. Just think, this will be ours,” she smiled squeezing Adil’s arm.

All Adil could do was crack a smile that was more of a grimace than a smile. He could not believe they were looking at the same house. The rooms were small, damp and had a faint smell of mildew and smoke.

“Oh, a good scrub and nice coat of paint will make this a great office,” she said cheerfully.

The kitchen reminded Adil of a grim scene in a horror movie. The floors and walls were stained; the dishwasher was ancient and the rusted kitchen sink dripped. He could not concentrate on what the “perks” of the house were.

“Follow me,” Sarah sang.

Hanan danced then spun out of the room. Adil waited till she left before rolling his eyes and following her. He joined them onto the terrace or so Sarah called it.

“Eeep, I’ve always wanted a huge backyard,” Hanan clapped. “I love it! What do you think, Adil, isn’t this place a dream?”

“Well, it has, it may, I don’t know. Maybe we should keep…” “We’ll take it,” Hanan squealed.

“Yeah,” Adil said with a sigh, his chest dropping, “we’ll take it.”

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