Section 2 Lecture 6: Action

Well, I’m having the most difficult time wrapping my head around my class writing exercise. They’re covering, ‘don’t tell, show’ aspect of writing and how actions play a key roll in character building. In this exercise, timer set for 10 minutes, I choose a character (they provide in lecture notes) and the setting of a busy coffee shop when a really angry/unhappy stranger starts yelling at them. This is where I’m supposed to show not tell how my character reacts. Ugh, here goes nothing:


The constant chatter, the banging of cups against their mismatched saucers, customers ordering their skinny lattes with half pumps of flavoring, and baristas yelling customers by their misspelled names was almost too much for Agent Wayne Tanner. He just needed a quick pick-me-up boost before going back to work on Tabitha’s case. The missing girl case turned into a murder case. The crime scene was brutal and the photos did it too much justice. Taking in a deep swallow of caffeinated nectar his chair was pushed and coffee spilled all down the front of his new tie.
‘Get up! You’ve been sitting there long enough! There are other people here wanting to sit!’ the stranger yelled at Wayne. He just groaned and rolled his eyes as he wiped the coffee off. The coffee shop suddenly went quiet. The chair was hit again. The violence of the crime scene came rushing to the forefront of his thoughts and without realizing Agent Tanner stood while simultaneously kicking the chair out from underneath him. The agency badge now visible to the angry impatient stranger.
‘I understand that your hipster needs outweigh that of others as you would like to sit and enjoy your double foam extra shot of BS in a cup. I can see how your world is now turned upside and you will need a hug and a social media prayer chain. It’s more important that you feel all warm and comfortable in your natural surroundings than say a detective taking a much-needed break from finding a little girls killer. Heaven forbid if it was someone like your sister or mother but I’m sure you would understand that an important piece of evidence was overlooked when the detective wasn’t able to take the break needed to regroup long enough to drink a coffee and go back with fresh eyes. Who knows, maybe the killer is in here right at this moment and is overlooked because the detective was interrupted.


Shoot, my time is up! What do you think? Did I make the assignment? Did I tell or show?

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