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I've been creative writing all my life, though with various haitus(es) along the way. IFrom 2010 I started this blog and enjoyed sharing writing and other information with everyone. illness and bereavement supplied the more recent hiatus.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

The Show must go on!

PART 2 Misty Waters at Writer's Block ~ Oh wait! I mean Blog... is hosting a great show and tell blogfest. Choose a picture and write two pieces about it, one Telling and one Showing.
I chose the prisoners.

SHOWING involves the use of details and descriptions in order to create a sensory experience for the reader, with metaphor  that constructs an analogy between two things or ideas and simile, which indirectly compares two different things by employing the words "like", "as", "than", "as though."

The Stythians  stood at the top of the stairs holding their long, black staffs that would seal Aleona’s fate. Their tattered, filthy cloaks billowed in the fetid atmosphere of the docking station. Faceless and forbidding their presence added a menacing air to the already stifling atmosphere. Zedric felt certain he might gag as the humidity smothered him. He could barely hear Aleona’s silk attire flapping about her in the current of hot air that was being pumped into the atmosphere by the Stythians’ noisy machines. Those machines alone enabled them to breathe. Zedric knew that prolonged exposure would choke the life out of normal human souls; the heat and the stench almost suffocating them as they loitered. Kneeling at the bottom of the steps, he looked up at his beautiful wife and swallowed down a lump of remorse. He held up his hand as if she might take it in her own and whisper those forgiving words he so longed to hear. Even though her hands were bound tightly behind her back, Aleona’s posture remained upright and she did not bend towards him. His eyes met hers. Her cold, penetrating gaze pierced his heart like a frozen arrow. The tenderness and warmth replaced by a cold darkness.

 “I had no choice” he pleaded, his cheeks moist with tears. “You made it impossible for me not turn you in, Aleona”  He choked out the words as though the taste of each syllable left the bitter taste of poison on his tongue.

Still she did not speak or soften to him. Her white-blond hair glowed like a halo from the only source of light, an ironic contradiction to the terrible things she had done in the name of freedom. Eventually he heard her words hissing on her breath like a venomous snake.

“This is the sacrifice you are prepared to make?”

Her words blanched his conviction making his complexion turn paler despite the heat and humidity.  His thoughts raced as the silence stretched out between them. She would understand once she boarded the Stythian ship and she would be safe. Of course he believed she would have a better chance than the rest of them. He bit his lip. He had to believe this were true. He could not go back on his word now, the Stythian’s would not allow him to break the bargain. All those lives for just one, but this was not just any one.

“You know I love you, don’t you” he said, placing emphasis on each word, so that she would understand.

She snorted “You call this love!” The snarl in her voice sent another cold stab to his heart stirring up a lethal concoction of fear and guilt that beat like a death march.

The Stythians moved forward, their immense height casting a shadow over them that snatched away all hope and indecision. “Your time is up!” their collective voice boomed in one accord. “Come now she-thing.”

(780 words)

(See also TELLING)
Other Participants:

Jodi Henry                        JW Parente                     
Christopher S Ledbetter

Mia Hayson                      Nindogs
Roland D. Yeomans       Tessa
Madeleine                        Angelina Rain


  1. That was a great show! Your tell was really good, too. :) I felt so sorry for both of your characters and wish I knew WTF was going on! That would make a great book one day!

  2. I love your show post!

    I feel bad for Zedric here; now I wonder what drove him to turn her in.

  3. This is great descriptive writing, but can I be heretical and say I preferred the tell post! Not because this is not good, but I liked the pace and directness of the first post. As I mentioned to you earlier, there is a place for show and a place for tell. If we show when should be telling we kill the pace and risk dissipating the tension, if we tell when we should be showing we disengage the reader. To be honest I preferred my own tell post (less the couple of places I had to deliberately force myself to use tell phrases).
    A marriage of your two posts might be made in heaven!

  4. Poor Zedric!! He didn't have a choice!! Wow. I am completely rivetted by this piece - it's full of emotion and passion and profound sadness!! Poor Zedric!!

    Well done you!! Take care

  5. ooooh! You know, reading your telling I couldn't really imagine the showing but this is SO MUCH BETTER!

    Great stuff my dear!

    And can I just say that it's funny we have the same sort of storyline to our entries (same picture, too)? ; P

    Always with those betrayals!

  6. I actually loved both of them. The showing was so evocative and the telling was so stark. Both felt right to me....?

    Either way, they're a win! Maybe you're just that good :)

  7. Nicely done. Still my favorite line: "Come now she-thing." Chilling.

  8. I agree with the Words Crafter! Both felt right in their own way. Excellent showing!


  9. Thank you everyone, I am delighted you enjoyed my two pieces and I would agree with Dom about the different styles of writing having their place at different times depending on the pace of the piece. Also women tend to prefer more showing than men I have noticed and that is why although I love watching Sci Fi/Fantasy I rarely read it because it's primarily written by men with a more telling, factual blokie style of writing. ;O)

  10. I really enjoyed both pieces. I felt sorry for Zedric, giving up his love to save the many. :) what a hero.


  11. I love this piece, but thought the first one was equally good :).

    I obviously have trouble with my show and tell preferences!

  12. I'd love your excerpt! This raises some great questions and definitely left me wanting more. Great job!

  13. What fun! And, by the way, :) I have an award for you on my blog: www.margokelly.blogspot.com come stop by and pick it up! It will be available Monday morning.

  14. This is seriously an excellent piece of writing, Madeleine. You write scenes like no-one else I know. But, like Dominic, and probably because of my own crisp style of writing, I preferred the telling. Okay, I'm off to hide in the corner now.


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