August 2010

True Feeling. Using language that is simple and straightforward, describe a moment of true feeling between two characters. Imagine that your central character – the character from whose point of view you’ll be writing the scene – has a secret, something significant they have never revealed to the other character. Write this scene without reference to the secret, but allow it to determine the depth and the nature of your character’s response to the moment.(By way of example: two women, Helen and Irene, best friends, might be discussing Helen’s recent discovery that she is pregnant. The scene is being told from Irene’s point of view. Her response to the news is modified by the fact that she has recently had an abortion. She has told no one of this.)

Winning entry by Margaret Renn

“We all know John had affairs, for years and years.”

She smiled.

“Do you think people knew?”

“People?”

“Well, we did, but Frances. Did Frances ever know?”

“About who?”

“Clare”

“Oh.”

“He had an affair with Clare and before that, well I say before, I don’t really know about before, with Joanna.”

“Frances probably knew about Joanna. She wasn’t living with him then.”

Paul rattled on about this one and that, a parade of women, lovely, engaging, intelligent, stretching back for what, 20 years?

He doesn’t know half of it she thought.

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