It’s the last Wednesday in August. AuGoWriMo–the unofficial writing challenge B.E. Sanderson and I have been doing–ends next Monday. I’d hoped to have NIGHT WISH finished. I don’t think it will be. Still, I’ve made progress. I’m closing on 50K words and decided to up my final goal to 60K because I have a whole bunch of snippets in search of full scenes. That’s both the good AND bad news. Still, I finished Chapter 13 yesterday. I’m telling you this because I can’t “show” you the fruits of my toil until the book is completed. I can, however, share this snippet. The #1lineWed theme is Show (not Tell). I hope this snippet shows you a bit of what is going on. To set it up, Wiz brought Gen to the compound and sort of dumped her in his room for…reasons. Now there’s a party and she’s not too inclined to join the merry-making outside in the courtyard.
I made it all the way to the front doors. The glass almost vibrated from the noise. Flames now danced in a fire pit in the center of the space and people gyrated around them. I scanned the crowd, looking for Wizard but couldn’t find him. My hand rested on the door’s push bar but for the life of me, I couldn’t put enough pressure on the thing to open the door.
“You just gonna stand there all night?”
I jerked and whirled to face the woman who’d snuck up on me. She eyed me up and down, taking in my appearance. I returned the insult. She wore heavy motorcycle boots, faded jeans that fit her like a glove, a red long-sleeved T-shirt with a Harley emblem on the front and that ubiquitous leather vest I was becoming far too familiar with. Long dark hair framed her pretty face and her brown eyes crinkled at the corners.
“You must be Wizard’s civilian.”
Civilian? What did that even mean. Evidently, my confusion showed because the woman continued. “Civilian is just that. Regular people who aren’t in the life.”
“Ah. Then, yes. I am most definitely a civilian.”
“And a bit overwhelmed, yeah?” She grinned and winked. “C’mon. I’ll help you find Wiz.”
Before I could protest, she hooked an arm through mine, pushed both of us through the door and all but dragged me over to the grassy area and the chaotic scene. She found a picnic table with space to sit, parked me on the bench and disappeared. So much for helping me find Wizard. Within moments, she was back with two plastic cups filled with beer. She handed me one and pointed her finger at me.
“Stay. Don’t talk to strangers. I’ll be back as soon as I find Wiz.” Then she was gone.
Don’t talk to strangers? Everyone here was a stranger and I had no reason to speak to any of them. I glanced around trying hard not to make eye contact with anyone. I didn’t see Wizard anywhere. A good-looking man sauntered my way and I quickly stared down at my beer hoping he’d take the hint. He didn’t. He straddled the bench. I could feel his eyes on me.
“Nobody’s ever gonna mistake you for a sweet butt.”
I jerked my head to stare at him. “A what?”
“A sweet butt.”
Shaking my head, I leaned away from him. “I don’t even want to know what that is.”
He grinned at me. “That’s because you’re Wiz’s civilian.”
Why did that term now sound so offensive. I was too aware that I didn’t belong here but they didn’t need to keep pointing it out to me. I’d gotten the hint and I planned on bolting back to my nice, normal, civilian life at the first opportunity.
I hope you enjoyed it. Show vs. Tell is a big thing in writing. Writers, is there anything your characters are doing you want to show us? Readers, is there anything you want to tell us about what you look for in a book? Do you want description? Action? Dialogue?