“Write the first ~600 words of a story. Make sure to use every method we have discussed to convey emotion.”

Becoming a Writer – Week Two


The doorbell chimed as the woman walked into the little bookshop that was tucked behind the hotel. She had a face that was used to smiling; even as she looked around the store thoughtfully, the ends of her mouth turned up in a contented way. She also had lively brown eyes, and she wore her hair out of her face, as if she wanted to face the world head on and say hello. As her eyes adjusted from the bright outdoor light to the dim atmosphere of the bookshop, her expression transitioned from simple contentedness to pure joy. In her world, nothing was better than a roomful of books she had yet to read.

An employee soon appeared to check on the visitor and ask if she needed any assistance. “I’m just fine, thank you” she lilted. “I’m just browsing. I saw the shop all tucked away and just couldn’t resist having a look. I simply love books, don’t you? Oh, my name’s Charlotte by the way.” She said all of this with a smile on her face, speaking quickly and sounding, more than anything, like a small child describing her favourite toy. The clerk replied that he did indeed like books, and that if Charlotte needed any help, she should sing out for him. She smiled, thanked him, and practically skipped to the first shelf she saw: Fiction: Cad- through Der-. She gracefully scrambled up the small ladder and began examining each book, one by one. After a few hours she finish examining her chosen shelf and went and found the clerk to say goodbye.

The next day, Charlotte returned to the shop, picked a different shelf, and settled herself in. She greeted every person she saw with a smile, and she made sure to say goodbye when she left. When she came on the third day, someone else came too. It wouldn’t have been odd, the bookshop had other patrons, after all, but the way this person acted around Charlotte caught people’s attention. Most people would notice Charlotte, just by sharing her space. She was constantly happy, and anyone could tell by looking at her. Charlotte could make any room lighter, and people noticed that. But this person who came to the bookshop on the third day didn’t seem improved by Charlotte’s presence. It wasn’t as if she was a generally gloomy person who resisted all attempts at cheering her up. It also wasn’t that she was purposefully ignoring Charlotte. It was almost as if this new person didn’t see Charlotte at all, if such a thing were possible.

The girl came in randomly, once or twice a week, and she continued to not notice Charlotte, who still came in every day. After the third time the girl left, Charlotte asked Darren, one of the clerks (she knew them all by this point), if he knew who she was. “No,” he said, unhappy to be unable to help someone as nice as Charlotte. “But I can ask the other clerks. One of them might know.” Charlotte beamed at him and thanked him for his help. Two days later Darren pulled Charlotte way from the newest shelf she was perusing. He told her the girl’s name was Sara Crowe, one of the employee’s friend from University. The employee knew she loved books, so he told Sara all about the bookshop he worked at. Charlotte smile and bounced forward to hug Darren. She couldn’t contain her happiness for finally knowing the girl’s name.

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