Here’s some more bits and pieces I’ve written for the fiction writing course I am currently taking. The exercise about adding more detail to your writing was especially helpful this past week, and definitely something I am focusing on more. It also gives a better idea as to the story I’m slowly building around the character.

Imagining Writing Spaces

Comfortable:

Patrons talked in hushed tones while they ate light meals and drank strong coffee. In one corner of the coffee shop, a writer was bent over a laptop, fingers rapidly typing away at a story blooming in the ether of her imagination. A cappuccino and glass of water stand half-forgotten on the table, the waiter already used to leaving her alone while she’s lost in a world of her own making.

Uncomfortable:

She sat behind the laptop, a large screen mounted against the wall above her head, an audience seated behind her. She moved uncomfortably on the squeaking office chair and prepared her notes. She started typing, each word appearing on the screen above her as she typed. Soon she could hear a murmur behind her, the audience giving their own comments on what she was writing. Her finger lingered over the “delete” key.

Adding more detail

Version 1

He sat down at the front of the bus, shoulders slightly hunched, the thick camouflage jacket hiding a deceptively lean frame. Long grey hair that may once have been blonde was tied up in a hastily made bun, the cerise pink hair elastic pilfered from his daughter’s room in stark contrast with the greens and browns of the jacket meant to hide him in plain sight. Three day’s worth of grey stubble lined an ageing but handsome face. He stared at the road, noting every block the bus passed, ignoring the other passengers with their phones, books, tablets, and cameras.

Version 2

He sat down at the front of the bus, shoulders slightly hunched, the thick camouflage jacket hiding a deceptively lean frame. Shoulder-length grey hair that may once have been blonde was tied up in an untidy bun, the cerise pink hair elastic pilfered from his daughter’s room in stark contrast with the greens and browns of the jacket meant to hide him in plain sight. Three day’s worth of grey stubble lined an ageing but handsome face. A pale face and shadowed eyes were turned to the road to note every block the bus passed while ignoring the other passengers with their smart phones, books, tablets, and cameras. In his hand, almost hidden beneath the jacket, was a letter in a rectangular envelope. Trembling, work-hardened hands played with the corner of the folded paper, bending the browned corner back-and-forth, back-and-forth as the bus rumbled and shook along the road. Indistinct music thumping a beat from earphones behind him dragged him into the present and he glanced at his watch. The bus was taking too long to get to its last stop.