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Friday, 30 September 2011

Prose: Creative Writing Exercise - Showing not Telling

At my first creative writing seminar we were charged with a task where instead of telling readers directly about the situation that our protagonists found themselves in we should use description to 'show' the reader their plight. Now I did a situation about a boy who hates going to his father's now that his Father has a new girlfriend as old as he is, I tried and failed at the task I think. I don't know why but I just couldn't seem to write that well and in all the whole piece was drivel. That's why when Thomas Cornhill one of my classmates read out his work about the same situation and quite frankly took a gigantic dump all over mine; I decided I should rework my piece. So, here goes.


 In the beginning, this walk would've been natural. This corridor would not have seemed so long and Billy wouldn't be grinding his teeth to the point of almost excruciating pain. Now is not the beginning and Billy's only wish that all of this would come to a quick and decisive end. His wish would probably never be granted. He'd have to trudged his way down the corridor of flats towards number 7A, once a haven now a hell.
 However, the dread that filled his face at the door and the shakes it gave him were almost unbearable to the point where he stood at the door wishing for it to disappear. His grief was washing over him once again, paling his face like that of a ghost and his hand hit the door with all the force of his anger.
"Hold on."
The female voice from behind the door hurt as if Billy had just broken both his knee caps. His eyes widened with rage. He didn't know she was going to be here, this was never a part of the plan and this was certainly not what Billy wanted right now. He turned away from the voice that was causing him such inner distress and was about to leave but the door swung open. In door frame stood Alva, once a classmate of Billy's and at one time a friend, not even a month after his Mother's death though; she was now his father's lover and it just grated under his skin. Every breathe she took was like a kick to the testicles, every moment she was around him felt like hours of torture but apparently somethings were more important then how Billy felt. Well, that is what his father had said. Billy just nodded at Alva and walked straight in admiring the flat that he had once inhabited with his Father and Mother, it was foreign to him. It made him feel sick. The decor was not what he remembered his mother's rugs were gone and the once white walls were now filled with paintings. Billy soon remembered that Alva had sat next to him in art class. He sat in another unfamiliar room, the kitchen, followed by Alva whom was as graceful as ever offering him all but the world on a plate. Billy thought this was down to guilt, the fact that Alva couldn't bare sleeping in a dead women's bed before she'd even turned cold in the ground or maybe even that she was trying to mother him. That would never happen.
 He just continued to tap awkwardly at the table infront of him, his rage sometimes getting the better of him and scaring Alva sometimes with the force with which he hit the table. Billy however, just stared at the clock which mocked him by moving ever so slower and the door which also mocked him by not having his father burst through it as if it were some kind of carnival. Yet, as he waited, he wasn't sure whether he could physically stomach the sight of his father. No more then he could stand Alva, the new decor or the place he currently found himself in. Grief had changed Billy. It crept under his skin every second, of every, minute, of everyday. Grief was making him push his family away; as well as tearing what was left of his family apart.