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Writing Exercise: The Discovery of Betrayal

Updated: 5 days ago


multicolor sneakers

A man discovers his wife's dubious fidelity


Introduction to the exercise and its purpose:

This exercise focuses on the “Show, Don't Tell” technique to explore how to reveal critical information and intense emotions through character behavior, environmental context, and symbolic objects, without relying on explicit dialogue or direct descriptions. The goal is to hone the ability to write scenes that communicate subtle emotional truths visually and intuitively, thereby increasing the emotional impact of the narrative.


Situation:

Mark, returning home unexpectedly in the early afternoon, finds a pair of men's shoes that do not belong to him in the doorway of his house, a situation he never expected to face.


Exercise:

Describe the moment when Mark enters the house and discovers the shoes. Focus on his physical reactions, the details of the house that he will now see in a different light, and the movements he makes as he processes the discovery. Avoid using internal or external dialogue to express his feelings; let everything be communicated through his actions and environment.


Suggestions and exercise development:

Start by describing the entrance to the house in a neutral way, then change tone as soon as Marco notices the shoes. Use visual metaphors such as the light filtering through the window falling directly on the shoes, or the contrast between the sudden mess and the usual cleanliness of the house. Show Marco touching his shoes, lifting them slightly, perhaps feeling the weight of the reality he does not want to accept. He might then walk unsteadily toward the living room, looking at each object as if seeing it for the first time. Close with Marco pausing in front of a wedding photograph, staring intently at it, letting his silence and facial expression speak clearly of inner turmoil.

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