Red Writing Hood Prompt: More Than Words

Statue with Crossed Arms

image from Forest Runner via Flickr

I’d like highlight the way Victoria used dialogue and subtext in her piece The City of Champions, in response to the “Core” prompt last week.

Victoria’s dialogue works so well to move the story forward and show the reader information in a non-narrative manner.  The subtext behind Mrs. Peterson’s words shines through so clearly, showing a depth to her character and hinting at much more than what her words say on the surface.

“She must be a very strong woman,” Henry’s mother remarked.

She had been so quiet most of the evening, it startled Karen when she spoke.

Karen nodded, grateful for the kindness. She knew the conversation might go in this direction, but she had been too concerned about her appearance and making sure she didn’t splash soup on herself to worry about it.

“So, are you a student like Henry?”  Mrs. Petersen asked.

“Not yet,” Karen said. “I’m hoping to save enough money to go to secretarial school next year.”

“Smart move,” Mr. Petersen said with forced heartiness. “Everyone should learn a trade even if they can’t get into college.”

“I got in,” Karen said, trying not to sound offended. “But it’s too expensive and I don’t want to leave my mother on her own.”

“Good girl,” Mrs. Petersen said approvingly. “Too many young people are so selfish these days.”

“I’m all she has. She is a strong woman, but everyone has their limits.”

“They do indeed,” Mrs. Petersen whispered. Karen was sure there were tears in her eyes as she said it.

And now for this week’s Red Writing Hood prompt.

This week, focus on dialogue and body language to set a scene or move a story forward, limiting your use of narration.  You have 450 words, beginning with the line: His crossed arms answered her question before he spoke.

If you are writing memoir this week and find the opening line too restrictive, incorporate the idea of crossed arms as close to the beginning of your piece as possible.

Come back Friday to show us what you’ve written!

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.