I’ve been working on my manuscript for Hotel Deja vu for about 2 years now, even though I put it out on Amazon 15 months ago. It was premature, I know, but hey, I’m Learning Out Loud here!

One of the best lessons I’ve learned in this writing journey is the Show, don’t Tell rule and I’m working through it with this in mind. Below are two extracts. The first is the before and the second is the edit. It’s still a work in progress, of course, but I think it’s much better. Would love some feedback!!


Version 1 – lots of telling, I fear!!

Montmartre

All roads seemed to lead to Montmartre that first Sunday evening. Sunday in Montmartre is magical and each small group made their way in search of some magic, and perhaps some champagne. Sam, Ingrid and Paula bumped into Georgia and Judy, chatting and getting to know each other better on the journey. They stopped the taxi near the Pigalle Metro station and went hunting for the Scaramouche gelato store Georgia had raved about. Strolling in the late afternoon heat, licking their ice-creams, Judy spied Wendy and Carole waiting at the funicular and pointed them out.

‘Yoo hoo,’ Ingrid called, waving her arms around to the delight of the elderly gentleman walking towards them.

He hesitated in front of her and smiling, took her hand, kissed it and continued on his way. They all stopped in their tracks and stared after him. Ingrid put the hand up to her heart.

‘Only in Paris, eh?’ Sam said, nodding her head in the direction of the elderly gent.

They caught up with Carole and Wendy, and laughed and hugged like old friends.

As many people as there are in Paris at any given moment, and as many cafés, bars, restaurants and bistros found in the city, the group found a table at a touristy bistro just down from Place du Terte, as Betty and Janet emerged from the taxi. Georgia jumped up and threw her arms around them as if they were her much loved aunts, not women she had met just hours before. Forgetting her plan to exude Parisian polish and style at all times, the young woman practically dragged them to the table, excitedly asking them about their plans for the week.

‘I love your jumpsuit,’ she gushed to Betty.

Betty could tell that Georgia was comfortable around older people and managed to speak to her and Janet respectfully, minus the patronising tone. She was grateful for the enthusiasm and energy Georgia brought to their group.

The waiter hovered and Betty took charge, ordering charcuterie and champagne for the whole table as a busker wandered towards them with a violin and held their rapt attention. As the sun slipped down behind the low buildings and the sky took on that perfect blue that Paris does so well, meals were ordered and the drinks flowed. Sam and Judy were in deep conversation, Wendy and Betty telling travel stories while Carole and Georgia listened intently. The violinist, who had now been joined by a puppeteer, played.

Ingrid was getting very drunk and loudly asked Betty where she bought her outfit.

‘This is a Young British Designers piece, the girl who does these is just out of college. Amazing talent,’ Betty called across the table.

‘Oh don’t you think it’s a bit young for you?’ Paula asked, a slight edge in her voice.

‘I don’t’ think clothes have an age or a use-by date. I love vintage Chanel as much as I love Matthew Williamson.’

‘Oh, but people have a use-by date though, surely.’

Betty didn’t respond, unless you call a death-stare a response. Having achieved the desired result, Paula pulled her tablet from her tote and videoed the busker feigning indifference to the filthy looks coming from the other end of the table. She wandered into the street to video-call her son, showing him the scenes before her and urging him to come to Paris. He said he had a party to go to and could she text before calling in future.


Now here’s version 2 – Showing not telling (I hope!!)

Sunday Night in Montmartre

All roads led to Montmartre that evening. Sunday in Montmartre is magical, and each small group made their way in search of some of that famous magic, and perhaps some champagne. Sam, Ingrid and Paula bumped into Georgia and Judy, chatting and getting to know each other better on the journey. They stopped the taxi near the Pigalle Metro station and went hunting for the gelato store Georgia had raved about. Strolling in the late afternoon heat, licking their ice-creams, Judy spied Wendy and Carole waiting at the Funicular.

‘Yoo hoo,’ Ingrid called, waving her arms around to the delight of the elderly gentleman walking towards them. He hesitated in front of her and smiling, took her hand, kissed it and continued on his way. They all stopped in their tracks and stared after him. Ingrid put the hand up to her heart.

‘Only in Paris, eh?’ Sam said, nodding her head in the direction of the elderly gent.

They caught up with Carole and Wendy and laughed and hugged like old friends. As many people as there are in Paris at any given moment, and as many cafés, bars, restaurants and bistros found in the city, the group found a table at a touristy bistro just down from Place du Terte, as Betty and Janet emerged from the taxi. Georgia jumped up and threw her arms around them as if they were her much loved aunts, not women she had met just hours before. Forgetting her plan to exude Parisian polish and style at all times, the young woman practically dragged them to the table, excitedly asking them about their plans for the week.

‘I love your jumpsuit,’ she gushed to Betty.

Betty could tell that Georgia was comfortable around older people and managed to speak to her and Janet respectfully, minus the patronising tone. She was grateful for the enthusiasm and energy Georgia brought to their group.

The waiter hovered and Betty took charge, ordering charcuterie and champagne for the whole table as a busker wandered towards them with a violin and held their rapt attention. As the sun slipped down behind the low buildings and the sky took on that perfect blue that Paris does so well. Meals were ordered, and the drinks flowed. Sam and Judy were in deep conversation, Wendy and Betty telling travel stories while Carole and Georgia listened intently. The violinist, who had now been joined by a puppeteer, played.

Ingrid took a deep swallow of the last of her champagne and hiccoughed. ‘Betty, where did you buy your outfit?’ she asked a little too loudly.

‘This is a Young British Designers piece, the girl who does these is just out of college. Amazing talent,’ Betty called across the table.

‘Oh, don’t you think it’s a bit young for you?’ Paula asked. She glared at Betty.

Betty didn’t flinch. ‘I don’t’ think clothes have an age or a use-by date. I love vintage Chanel as much as I love Matthew Williamson.’

‘Oh, but people have a use-by date though, surely…’

‘I don’t use people, Paula, so I am left wondering what you mean.’ Betty didn’t look away. Janet’s hand gripped Betty’s arm.

Paula pulled her tablet from her tote and turned her back on the table. She held up the table to video the busker. A ripple of chatter went around the table and each woman turned to look at Paula. She stood and clicked a few buttons on the tablet. She seemed oblivious to the tension she had caused at the table and began a video-call with her son.

‘You should come to Paris,’ she said loudly into the screen. Others in the busy restaurant were turning to watch her. She held the tablet up to show him the view.

‘Mum, I have to go…it’s morning here. Text before calling in future,’ he said, and the screen went blank. She stood staring at it.

Wendy shook her head. ‘Let’s go for a walk,’ she said to Carole. They walked past the still dumb-struck Paula. Carole reached out and patted Paula’s arm as they passed. Paula shrugged it away.

one day…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Unseen Library

Expert reviews of the latest and the best in Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction and Crime Fiction from an Australian reviewer.

jillwrites

Author of Dual Visions & Vashla's World, also co-author of Fan-tas-tic-al Tales and Mystery, Mayhem & Magic as one of The Ten Penners, I write book reviews, articles and other interesting prose.

thetenpenners.wordpress.com/

a collective of children's story writers

claire.she.goes

Content Writing

Doodlewash®

Adventures in Watercolor Painting and Sketching, Watercolour Magazine, with Charlie O'Shields

Awaiting the Muse

The Life of a Writer: Composed of waiting as much as writing.

A Book. A Thought.

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

Corey Truax

Husband | Father | Veteran | Author

Bookshelf

Explores the world through literature, movies, words, and quotes for the intellectually curious

Read Eat Sleep Repeat

A book review blog.

Marlena Marie

words come alive the moment you let them exist

Gershon Ben-Avraham

Writing is Remembering

NO LOVE LOCKS™

Free Your Love. Save Our Bridges.

half a purpose

Genuine Humble Kind

Wanderlusty Writer

I read. I write. I wander.

Travel with Intent

A photographer's view of the world - words and images to inspire your travels and your dreams

Spice and Sauce

Writing Kindle Erotica

%d bloggers like this: