Lately I tried to do an online writing retreat. Unfortunately, I could not find time to go beyond the few exercises that were given. Perhaps some of you might like to use the same prompts and give it a try. It was interesting for me, and to see the number of words and ideas increase also encouraged me. I have not attempted to edit the conversations further. Here goes:
Invent a conversation of, say, ten lines between two people. First, simply write the words that are said. Then, rewrite these lines two or three times, and each time add details that would change the meaning of the words. There might be a raised eyebrow, a note of sarcasm, the sound of the person beginning to cry or laugh, or body language that adds to the meaning of the words.
A: What do you have in mind right now? B: Nothing.
A: What is bothering you or making it a big concern? B: My finances.
A: What about your finances? What do you need them for? B: To pay bills. I need to live.
A: Are you saying that you don’t have enough money? B: Yes, I need more and I would like to have more.
A: If you have some money now, would that be the end of all your concerns? B: I have many other issues. Finance is the main one right now.
A: What do you have in mind right now? What’s bugging you?
B: Nothing of interest to you. You’ve no business to know.
A: Oh, don’t say that. What’s bothering you? What’s eating you up?
B: Money. Do you have money to fill my wallet?
A: Oh, let me know and I’ll help as best as I can. Surely we can talk about this. What do you need it for?
B: Stop joking, will you? I need to survive. I need to live. I need to eat. Get the picture?
A: Cool down. Let us go through your concerns, your bills or whatever you need to settle. How much do you need?
B: Don’t give me all that crap. If you want to help, just give me a blank cheque and I’ll have all my debts cleared. I need plenty. Plenty, okay?
A: Okay, I get the idea. You’re in deep trouble and you need to settle all your debts. What if I say that all your debts are now mine?
B: I’ll be so grateful. Please don’t joke with me. I’m really in need of your help.
Ad moved closer to Bambi and standing near her, he asked gently:
“What’s troubling you? Tell me, my dear.”
Bambi looked up without a word and then she gazed right into his dark brown eyes, and, almost without any warning, her large eyes began to grow moist. She bit her lips nervously, as if to prevent an outburst. Unable to say anything, she put her head down. Ad, uneasy and sensing trouble, now put both his hands on her shoulders, and turned her round to face him squarely. She refused to look up and so, Ad did what he thought would be the best. He lifted up her face with his hand but all at once he felt sorry for having done it. She was so fragile. Drops of tears were rolling down her cheeks. What had he done? Clumsily he took his handkerchief from his pocket and tried to wipe her tears away. This caused her to cry even more. Now she was trembling and as her body was shaking, he continued to illicit an answer from her. He tried hard to keep his tone gentle, afraid of the display of emotions.
“What’s bothering you? What’s eating you up?”
Silence. Now even her crying had stopped, and to his amazement, she swiftly walked to the chair, grabbed her leather handbag and walked out of the room. It seemed like nothing had taken place.
Baffled by the sudden change of events, Ad muttered to himself, “Women! What strange creatures they are!”
It was time for his afternoon run.