Published Sun Aug 16, 2020 | Posted in On Writing | By Linda Jenkinson |
“They were better, just not as good.”
We talk in shorthand a lot, figuring our companions will understand what we leave unsaid. In writing, though, the context of a conversation is all important. If you will not describe it in exposition, you must reference it in the dialogue.
Exposition can be just as important as dialogue if you use it to your story’s best advantage. Here’s the entire conversation.
He spit into the sink and then took his seat at the island.
She sniffed. “I can smell your spearmint. Very minty.”
He didn’t answer. His jaw ground down on the pill. She glanced his way as she poured the morning coffee. There was nothing to eat in front of them, but his mouth was working overtime.
“What are you chewing?”
“Are you supposed to chew them?”
“They’re supposed to dissolve on your tongue, but they don’t dissolve very well. The last brand dissolved better, but it didn’t give me the dose I need. The other pills were sweeter, too. They were better, just not as good.”
Her smile told him that she appreciated the irony.
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