I am starting to read an editing book called Self-Editing For Fiction Writers. I am only in chapter two, but so far it is a good read. I am enjoying the things Renni Browne and Dave King are teaching me.
At the end of chapter one they gave an exercise that was basically, take this narrative summary and turn it into a scene. The chapter was focused on making sure you showed your readers your story and you tried not to tell them too much. I have decided to do their exercise for my ten minute creative time and post it on here.
“I am not from around here.” She told the waitress the stout woman approached.
“Not many people are, darling.” The waitress, Cindy, told her with a smile.
“I can imagine,” Laura, the woman who nervously looked around, stated as she sat on her bar stool.
“How’s that?” Cindy asked not needing to rush her since she was the only customer with out a meal in front of her.
“I just drove up 9w and it was beautiful.” As Laura spoke she again looked around as if trying to find someone or something she lost.
Cindy took the pause to mean that there was something she should ask. “It is beautiful. I suppose many people move to town to enjoy the redwood forest. “
“Yes, I suppose, but it was when I got off route 9w. It was another world. I come from a farm in Utah and there is so much space there. All the roads are long and most are wide. Here, however, two streets never meet at a right angle and they are hardly streets at all. Instead you have tiny little things like, ‘courts,’ terraces,’ ‘ways.'”
“There is a ‘landing’ or two.” Cindy chuckled.
Laura ignored Cindy’s little joke and continued, “And lining these street-like things are row on row of little houses that can only be distinguish by the lawn ornaments, when they have lawn ornaments.”
“I have heard of new people calling up a taxis just to have them lead them out of neighborhoods.” Cindy said lightly, trying to make her customer feel at easy. After a moment Cindy asked, “What will make you feel better right now? I can get you a coffee or maybe a pie?”
“Coffee and pie do sound good. Do you have apple?” Laura answered forcing a smile on her face.
“Yes, darling, I will get you a piece of warm apple pie and you can tell me more about what brought you here.”
Cindy left, took care of a few other customers and came back with a coffee and pie for Laura. As Cindy slid the plate and mug towards the mid-twenty year old she asked, “So, tell me the story of brought you to Suburbia.”
“That is simple, my husband got a job in the city, but we didn’t want to live in a city. We had a great big farm we lived on in Utah. My brothers took care of horses and my family had some cattle. If this job wasn’t something he really felt he needed to do I would have stayed on the farm.”
“Is that who you are looking for?”
“What?” Laura asked shocked that Cindy noticed her nerves.
“You keep looking around.”
“Yes, we were suppose to meet 20 minutes ago, but I was running late. I don’t know why he would be this late.”
Just then as if Laura’s husband heard his story being told, he walked in the door and straight to his wife. With a kiss on the cheek her nerves went away and they were able to enjoy the apple pie together, before ordering their meal.