The brief: Show a relationship between two characters using Subtext – what’s not said or told, what’s not in the lines, but between the lines.
“I need to go now.” She reached across the sofa for her handbag, fumbling to grab its straps.
“Now? You’ve twenty minutes before the bus comes.” The tea towel in his hands twisted in a knot, his hands winding and unwinding it. “Can you wait?”
Looking through the pouches of the bag, checking without seeing its contents, her side vision caught them both reflected in the mirror. She couldn’t look—at it, or at him. “It’s a nice morning. I’ll walk to the next stop.”
“About last night. I want…“ He turned away, threw the tea towel into the kitchen. Head down, he rummaged in the baggy pockets of his old cargo pants—a cigarette packet. He drew out a half-smoked fag and the lighter.
“Don’t light up inside.” He wouldn’t, but it was something to say. She groped through her bag, as she groped through her mind for the words needed. Nothing came.
From opposite sides of the room—the space between empty with its minimalistic décor, as empty as each felt—they faced each other, not looking.
“Let’s just pretend last night didn’t happen. It won’t happen again.”
She walked out, touching the new bruise on her eye.
My local writers’ group poses us members a monthly 200-word homework task, to focus us on a particular aspect of writing craft. 200 words can sometimes seem too much, and often turns out to be too little – and thus we learn about killing our darlings. Some homework pieces are published in the RWG monthly newsletter.
Rotorua Writers Group also runs “in-house” competitions, judged by writers from outside the group. RWG provides mentorship, guidance, tuition in the craft in all genres, and access to a broad network of illustrators, editors, publishers.
The notion of including this page has been shamelessly borrowed from a fellow RWG member, and published author’s blog. Pop over to visit Vicki Arnott’s blog