Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Show Don't Tell

Allie had a challenge on her blog today... and we all know how I like writing challenges! She's discussing "showing vs. telling"... if you're a writer (or even if you aren't) you should read it. Great discussion. Anyway, she gave two sentences and asked us to "show" the actions instead of just "telling." The original sentences are in bold and my "showing" follow. I would be interested in your thoughts.

1. Sherry was sick and tired of her boss’s advances, and she told him as much one night after work.

Sherry's stomach clenched as she saw Mr. Randolph come through the door of the office. The last few months, he'd taken every opportunity to brush up against her, or touch her, or compliment her clothes. It wasn't she minded compliments. For heaven's sake, everyone likes to hear they are attractive. It was just he seemed so… smarmy.

"Sherry," he said, stopping by her desk and laying a smooth, manicured hand on her arm, "If it wouldn't be too much of an imposition, I'd like you to stay a few minutes late today. Harrison is calling from Tokyo and I need someone to take down his report."

Sherry opened her mouth to tell him she already had plans, but he was already moving away, taking her acquiesance as a given. With a deep sigh, she picked up her phone to tell her mother she was going to be late.

The phone rang about fifteen minutes after everyone else had left and Sherry took Harrison's report. After typing it and making triple copies, Sherry straightened up her desk, grabbed her pocketbook, and went to Mr. Randolph's office. Hopefully he would be out of his office and she could just put the copies on his desk and leave.
She breathed a sigh of relief when she noticed his door open. She turned around after putting the papers on his desk.

She left the office and literally ran into Mr. Randolph. He grabbed her by the arms to steady her.

"Are you okay?"

"Uh… yes, I'm sorry, Mr. Randolph. I should have paid more attention to where I was going."

Sherry cringed as his hands rubbed up and down her bare arms.

"Don't mention it. Why don't you join me for a drink before you leave." He licked his lips and leaned in towards her, close enough she could tell he'd just used mouthwash. She pulled back and turned her head.

"I… I don't think so. I need to be going."

"Come on, just one little drink."

Sherry took a deep breath and pulled away from his grasp.

"No. And… please don't touch me again. I don't like it."

"I'm just trying to be friendly." His voice was cold and stiff.

"I appreciate it, but I don't like to be touched. And," God, please don't let her voice quiver now, "if you touch me again I'm going to report you to Human Resources." Without another word, she swept past him and into the elevator.

II. Kendra and Bill took the path that led away from the house. They agreed that although it might be dangerous, they needed to investigate the child’s disappearance without the police following them.

Bill stuck his head out the kitchen door and saw the policeman talking to Kendra. Thankfully, his back was to Bill. He caught Kendra's eye and motioned with his head. Then he slipped back into the kitchen to wait.

He heard the front door close.

Kendra came through the kitchen door.

"What are you doing here?" she hissed. "What if they have someone watching the back of the house?"

"You have to help me," he said, running his fingers through his hair. "You know I didn't have anything to do with that little girl disappearing. We have to find out who did."

Kendra glanced at the kitchen windows, then pulled the shades down.

"How can I help you? Who knows who's out there?"

"If we go, just the two of us, before the police know I'm here, we can find out what happened to her. We can prove I didn't have anything to do with it."

Kendra shook her head. "I know I'm going to regret this, but there's a small path behind the garden shed. We used to sneak to the pond that way when we were kids. We can probably get out that way without anyone seeing us. You just better not get us killed, or I'll never forgive you."

3 comments:

Dave said...

Hey that's a really neat idea. What if there's a birthday would that still count?

hellojed said...

I really like your take on both challenges, very visual and involved. Your writing is very fluid.

Allie Boniface said...

Nice job! Love all the dialogue in both!!