Monday, May 17, 2010

Let's Talk Blogfest

Ok, I forgot I signed up for this one. Eeek! Roni from Fiction Groupie is hosting. Click here for the list of participants. So, what should I post? Here were Roni's guidelines. And yes, I called them guidelines, because I think I may have done my own thing once again.
On Tuesday May 18, post a short excerpt on your blog of your most sparkly dialogue scene (no, I'm not talking about Edward Cullen).  It can be anything dialogue-heavy--a laid-back chat, an all out argument, a flirty conversation, two friends ribbing each other--whatever.  The options are endless.
I didn't want to post anything from Sendek. I have to save some stuff to make you want to buy it if it every gets published, right? (don't worry, I'm sure I'll cave again in the near future and give you a bit more.)

My snippet falls under the "whatever" category. I have this idea in the back of my head so completely different from my normal sci-fi/fantasy stuff. This is the only scene I have written and I guess it would fall under the contemporary genre. The story is about one woman's journey back to life after deep depression and all the problems the disease brought to her otherwise lovely life.
Sinking. I sunk under the weight of the ache inside as I lay in our bed, staring at the ceiling. Every inch of me cried out to him, but he sat still, deaf to me. He thought the conversation was about managing the house. It went deeper for me, but the house keeping was a safer topic than the hurt eating me alive.

Turning my back to him, I curled into a ball, hiding the tears that flowed freely down my cheeks. I struggled to control my breathing. In spite of it all, I didn’t want to hurt him.

“I’ll try to ask you first, but every time I do, you have an excuse.” The disapproval in his voice sliced across my heart.He still didn’t see.

“I’ll do my best not to make an excuse.” I played it safe. How could I tell him the real problem?

The room filled with silence. My loneliness deepened. Each breath followed more quickly than the first despite my efforts to stay in control. I heard him shuffling papers behind me. How could he move on so quickly? Another twist of my heart as I felt betrayed and abandoned. If only he would hold me, perhaps I could tell him the truth. My secret.

Seconds, minutes, it stretched like years before I heard him walk away. My heart paused and restarted, resigned to the way things were. The pain ebbed and stilled, leaving me numb.

He returned and the bed dipped as he lay down behind me. His arm rested against mine. That simple touch warmed me with hope. Maybe he heard my silent plea.

“I’ll try not to be so condescending. I know the house is not going to be perfect…”

I tuned him out as the pain resurged. Crying in earnest now, I prayed for the strength to tell him. At least some of it.

“You should know this isn’t about cleaning the house. Not for me.” Barely a whisper, but he heard me.

“Tell me what it’s about.” His fingers traced patterns on my bare arm. How could he not know how I longed for that very touch throughout the day? His patience in this moment almost gave me the strength I needed. Almost.

“I don’t want to.” I shuddered thinking how close I was to being cruel to him.

“Is it because you don’t feel like I respect you?”

So close, he was so close. Once again a spark of hope sputtered to life. Maybe he could see me. Doubt was too strong. Why did he ask that? My heart shattered under the prolonged pressure and I could no longer hold in the sobbing. He didn’t respect me, that’s why I felt like he treated me the same as the children.

He held me while I cried, until I felt strong enough to say the truth.

“It’s just that.” I stopped. How could I do this to him?

“What?” His voice felt soft and warm in my ear.

He was a good man, but he used his goodness and love up on everyone else. There was nothing left for me. He needed to be filled as much as I did, but you can’t share an empty cup.

“I don’t feel loved.” Another shudder shook my body. “Not by the kids.” I stopped again, knowing I could never say the rest. Not by you.

His fingers stilled. The silence grew so heavy I felt the pounding in my ears. What was he thinking? What would he say? I would never know.

The kids started yelling in the other room. I sighed as he left my side, closing the door behind him.
What do you think? This is a first draft, so rip away!


  1. Oi, this one's too close to home for me.
    I'll just say that depression is so debilitating and I hope she comes out of it.

  2. Interesting. There is much within the bits of dialogue but also so much that is not. Very tense and emotion drawing.

  3. I love this :~) And the little details like the fingers tracing patterns. Brilliant entry m'dear. Hope you have a great day, there are so many entries to read today! :S

  4. Ohhh! I just wanna give her hug! Whether its in the "whatever" category or not, it was emotional and had me pouting for her the whole time!

  5. I loved it. You can feel the emotion so clearly, and the pain. Very vivid!

  6. Wow this was powerful. I felt all of the emotion and pain she was feeling, in fact I still do now writing this. Very well done Charity the emotion pulled at the heartstrings and I longed for him to love her like he did at the beginning.

  7. Charity, Remove your dialogue tags.

    No, wait, you already did that. I'm starting to feel self-conscious about my tags, now. I went through this faze a few years ago where I wouldn't use them, and now I use them all the time.

    My my, how bad habits creep back in. And isn't it just an opinion anyway!

    Gads... now I have to go edit my tags. ;)

    - Eric

  8. Iapetus, eventually she finds herself again. I prefer happy endings. :) And yes, I think this is a topic a lot of people can relate too.

    Dawn, thanks, and is there something I should add? I'm not sure how to take the "so much that is not".

    Mia, thanks again for all your advice! I'm having a lovely day. Hope you are too. Loved your entry!

    Lilah, thank you for your comment and mentioning me in your post.

    Talli and Jen, thank you! I feel like this piece was a success if it pulled on your heartstrings.

    Eric, LOL, what? I thought your piece was excellent. I liked the small changes you made based on comments.

  9. Wow! Great scene! You did an excellent job conveying her emotions. It really pulled me in. Loved it! :)

    Also, don't know if you know this, but the link over on Fiction Groupie goes to and not to your blog. Thought you might want to fix it. :)

  10. Very powerful, Charity. She is in so much pain yet still she shudders at the thought of hurting *him* - so much so, she can't admit what she's truly feeling. That's the real tragedy here. Poignant and heartfelt. Lovely effort.

  11. Wonderful and real. I think a lot of women in relationships will connect with her. (I just realized I didn't know her name.)

    So that she resonates with women without coming across frustrating (so we're not screaming, "Just tell him!"), perhaps consider weaving in more concrete imagery in her inner dialog. Tell us why she is afraid of hurting him and can't come out and admit her true feelings. Has he become very hurt in the past when she did? Is she afraid, deep down, that she isn't worthy of him? Has he betrayed her trust before?

    You have the emotional impact down. This was riveting. Bravo!

  12. Wow, great emotions Charity! And so sad. Very good! =)

  13. Oh, that's just heartbreaking. Nicely done!

  14. wow, so powerful! well done!!

  15. This is lovely for a first draft. The emotions come through clearly.

  16. You do a great job describing her struggles and her pain. I'm curious to know more!

  17. Very emotional. I had a character in one of my WIP's go through something very similar to this. And I have to say that this is a little too close to home for me, as well. Depression is just as much a disease as something like cancer, except it targets your mind. I felt like you really dug into what's hard for so many people with depression: admitting they're dealing with it. Nobody wants to talk about it when they have it; sometimes, they don't even know they have it. I really love this!

  18. Very emotional and powerfully raw. Here are a couple of suggestions since you asked us to "rip."

    I only realized that they were in the bedroom because of the line "the bed dipped down." (And I LOVE that turn of phrase.) I would include a bit more setting to really put us in the moment.

    The second paragraph starts with " Turning my back to him," and I really think it should read "I turned my back to him." (I'm a sucker for eliminating those ING verbs.) ;)

    Finally, I also adored the line "His fingers traced patterns on my bare arm..." but I did not like the word "encouragingly" at the end of that sentence. First, she can only assume that he was trying to be encouraging -- and second, the -ly word kind of ruins the image. Why not just end that sentence with "my bare arm." Then, maybe add, "He was probably trying to encourage me."

    Seriously, I love the theme you working on here and would love to read more.

  19. Eep! Very relatable for sure. I love the way you brought out her emotions and broke up the dialogue. I envision long silences while she struggles to talk. Moving.


  20. Intense. Kind of depressing but I suppose that's the idea!

  21. Wow! I got a little behind. Forgive me if I combine a few replies.

    Abby, thanks for the heads up! I added a second corrected link since I couldn't figure out how to change the original one. I guess I have blogfest on the brain. :p

    VR, Carolyn, Angie, Taherah, Genie, Amy Jo and Juanita--Thank you. My goal was to really bring out the emotional struggle with herself.

    Nicole, you bring out a great point. When I read it I laughed and thought, "Maybe I should write it from the hubby's pov. He is probably saying the same thing--tell me already!!" I'll keep it in mind.

    KM, thanks! I have a lot of friends who have struggled with this. I think it is more common that we know and it really does affect every little aspect of your life.

    Amber, you are awesomesauce! I'll add more set up so you know where we are. I'm so bad about those -ing words at the beginning of my phrases. Good thing that is easy to fix in revisions. Same on the -ly words. I'll just drop the encouragingly, 'cause you're right, she can only assume that.

    Bookewyrme, thank you. I envisioned long silences too, so I'm glad it came across in this scene.

  22. This is heartbreaking. It's so powerful, too. I agree with Amber that I wasn't sure where they were physically, that she was curled up in a ball-- my head puts an argument about housework in the dining room for some reason :P But I figured it out! The dialogue itself is really well done. I totally feel for her, and for him. I can just imagine the agony he must have been feeling to hear her admit something like that, at the end. Woof.

    Well done!

  23. I love how you show us how stuck in her own head she is by giving us so many inner thoughts and having her struggle to communicate. Painfully real.

    My editorial note would be to add dashes where she cuts herself off so it's clear words are intentionally left out. For example, "It's just that--." and "Not by--."

  24. I thought that was great! You handled a difficult subject very, very well. Bravo!

    Side note - when I tried the link from Roni's list, it took me to a different site, same name as yours but with "" instead of "" Maybe I'm the only one who had that happen, it seems like a lot of others have found you so hopefully it hasn't been a problem.

  25. Oooh--well done. I like the emotions at play.

    I'm not going to do or say too much, but this was my one thought:

    “I don’t feel loved.” Another shudder shook my body. “Not by the kids, not by.” I stopped again, knowing I could never say the rest. Not by you.

    This is such a strong and powerful moment, but it's not quite as strong right now. I'd either substitute that period with an emdash, or I'd cut out "not by." Maybe:

    “I don’t feel loved. Not by the kids." I stopped again, knowing I could never say the rest. Not by you."

    I would like to see more!

  26. Amalia, thank you. I'll definitely set it up better when I revise. And yeah, a kick in the gut for the poor guy.

    Laurel, the dash idea is great. I couldn't think how to do that *palm to head*--dashes!

    Susan, thanks for noticing my mistaken addy. I must have had blogfest on the brain when I typed it. That's what came out of my fingers instead of blogspot. I added a corrected link just in case. ;)

    Just Another Sarah, I love your suggestion too. This is why we need critique. It really does help us see what we are missing and how we can strengthen our work. thanks!

  27. I think this piece is so powerful because it is truthful. Your character is saying what so many people want to say but can't.

    I really do want to know more about this couple, where they've been and where they're going. Lovely, lovely work!

  28. Oh, that made my heart hurt. You captured the lonliness of depression so well. And the broken link of communication.

  29. This resonated with me, because it is similar to my current wip and something I want to capture as well. There is that moment, when a wife is trying to tell her husband something important, and she drops a hint, but he just takes it at face value (because that is what men do), and then the moment is lost and the wife is left with that still gnawing at her. I like the courage of your character. Nicely done.

  30. This is just beautiful. And so well written.

  31. Andria, Tricia, Shelli and Tara, thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such kind comments.

    Shelli, why do we hint instead of coming right out with it? I know I do it. There is this innate need for them to be observant enough to KNOW. Unfortunately, as my hubby always tells me, "I can't read your mind. If you don't tell me how am I supposed to know?"

    Mmm, I wonder if that is why Landry can read Talia's mind? (for any new visitors, they are in a different wip)

  32. Oh, yes. The classic woman syndrome. We always just want them to know what's wrong. And when they don't we get really peeved. Nicely done. I think you should definitely keep writing this one:)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...