• Hemingway Exercise

    Posted Posted by Guest Writer in Uncategorized     Comments 1 comment

    Sue and Jack studied the menu avoiding each other’s eyes.
    “I can’t decide between the veal piccata and steak au poivre. Do you want to share one of those?” Jack asked.
    Sue’s head jerked up
    “You have been working such long hours, you don’t remember that I am a vegetarian now. If that’s not important to you, I will add that I don’t like to share either.”
    “I think I’ll have the steak.”
    “You are making unhealthy choices.”
    “I work long and hard to be able to afford what I want. A good steak makes life worthwhile.”
    “A good wife is a value you may not recognize since you are so rarely at home.”
    ”A man has to earn a living.”
    “Or is a man living on borrowed time while making time?”
    “I think I’ve lost my appetite.”
    “I certainly hope so. I am ordering the snapper.”

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    Nice work, Sandy! The tension is palpable.

    Remember what we talked about with contractions in dialogue. “You have been working such long hours,” for example, sounds a bit stilted. “You’ve been working such long hours” reads more naturally, I think.

    Of course, there’s an exception to every rule. “You are making unhealthy choices” (I really like that line, by the way) works better without a contraction because it places emphasis on the wife’s double meaning.

    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x