Show not tell Saturday: Party



 I went to a great writing class today at the Writing Pad and spent three hours working on creating fiction from found bits of life.  Talk about fun and a writer’s block buster.  Writing is becoming easier the less I think about it.  However, some days are like today where I become obsessed with a skill or an element and wanting to make sure that I am “doing” that correctly.  Today’s obsession is theme, as well as showing not telling. I’ve spent a lot of time talking about my actions these last three years so I can really articulate what I’ve done to illustrate my emotions.  Now, I need to practice showing my character’s states of mind.  The excerpt below is a rewritten party scene.  I took out a lot of conversation and added a bit of action.  I think it shows way better now then it did in my last two incarnations.  Its a little bit PG-13.



The DJ put on a hyper dance tune that made everyone roar with happiness.  Josh pulled me closer, tight enough to confuse where his body ended and mine began.  Well, except the firmness under in his pants.  I looked up at him, my eyes wide.

“Sorry,” he blushed as he shouted in my ear but continued to move to the music.  “I can’t help it.  Its all your fault.”

It was my turn to blush.  Biting back my smile as a rush of guilt mixed with pride, I told him, “No, its not.”

His smile widened.  “Oh, yes.  Yes it is.”  He placed a light kiss on my cheek leaving behind  the warm imprint of his lips.  “No pressure.  None at all.”

My smile escaped me, expanding through my entire body.   I stepped backwards and he released me a bit from his hold so that a bit more air flowed between us.  Not too much air, though.  I placed my hands on his chest as we danced, our legs nearing intertwining but not so much that we could lose our balance or our hold on each other.

Tap.  Tap.  Josh rolled his eyes as I looked over my shoulder.

“What?”  Amber’s drunken face, eyes bleary, stance wobbly, greeted me as I turned around.  Her sharp fingers grabbed my face before I could speak again, and squashed my lips into hers.    If we were in a movie, this would be when the dj’s records came to an screeching halt, all dancing would stop, and all eyes would be on us.    She tasted like grape vodka.  I pushed as Josh pulled me away.

“What the heck Amber?”  I could barely whisper before her fist made contact with the side of my face where Josh’s lips had been.   Anger must have doubled the strength in her wiry arms which caused my body to fall back in to Josh and the crowd around me.   The shouts and yells made me aware that I was still awake.

“I hate you,” she yelled from the arms of whomever was pulling her away.    The side of my face was hot and pulsing. The whole crowd seemed to reach for her as she managed to break free. I shielded my face with my arms as she came near but she continued  to run past me.

Josh picked up my glasses from the floor while the rest of the crowd looked on, wide eyed and whispering to themselves.  I didn’t notice that my hands were shaking until they were in his.  He signaled the DJ to startup the music, keep things going so that everyone would forget to start gossiping.   I ran after Amber realizing that damage control was too late when I heard the question:  “Did Amber Hughes just out herself as a lesbian?”


Image: ‘I licked; she bit right in.

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