Telling Tuesdays 3/20/12 : "It was raining."

Welcome to Telling Tuesday, a day reminiscent of those in school when I looked forward to seeing what everyone brought for show and tell. This weekly feature was inspired by an article on, called “How to Show (Not Tell): A Writing Lesson from John LeCarre.”

It is one of the best articles I’ve seen on the rule all writers know–show, don’t tell–because it doesn’t just tell us how not to tell, it shows us some of LeCarre’s very own examples.

” . . . descriptions can set the scene, convey the inexpressible, and turn the reader into a witness, instead of remaining a mere bystander.” — Mary Jaksch, author of the article

Each week, I’ll give a “telling” prompt, and invite you to show us, to make us a witness, not a mere bystander. Feel free to use the prompt, or the photo (if a photo is shown.) Of course, if you have a completely different “telling” prompt, you can “show” us that, too.

As always, I invite you to leave a link to your website or blog with your comments.


The following is my first attempt at writing romance. (We all have to step out of our comfort zones sometime.) I’ve already received some excellent critique from my writers’ group, especially my friend,  Ruth Weeks, and I welcome whatever comments you might have.

It was raining. 

     It was raining that morning in Kyoto. Asako’s kimono clung to her body, wet and cold as she ran across the street to find cover. Weaving her way through the crowds of people seeking shelter, she didn’t pay attention to where she stepped and the sole of her geta caught a pothole. She tripped and fell into the mud.

A young man ran to her and offered his hand. “Are you all right?” he asked as he helped her up.
She smoothed her kimono and bowed in gratitude. “Yes, I’m fine, thank you,” she replied, looking into his chestnut eyes.
When he smiled and nodded, said, “Good,” in a velvety voice, when his keen gaze watched as she smoothed her kimono, something inside her warmed. In a flash, she knew her world would never be the same.
Though she could not break away from his gaze, she knew she she must be a terrible sight. Wet hair.  Smeared makeup. Her face surely had become a noh mask, a ghostly demon disguise. Embarrassed, she pushed away and stared down at the rain splashing in the puddles.
A loud clap of thunder startled her and snapped her back to reality.
Stupid girl. You are a maiko. Soon you will be a geisha. Stop your lovesick thoughts!
She ran for shelter from the rain, from him.
But he grabbed her arm and pulled her back so violently her geta fell off her foot. A second later, a rickshaw rumbled past and ran over her shoe, burying it in the mud.
When she turned to thank him, she was once again whisked away from the hectic, rainy world and the two stood alone in silence. She watched the gentle journey of water droplets as they fell from his black hair and trickled over high cheekbones before resting on firm lips.
She prayed the tingling she felt was only the raindrops upon her skin. 
This entry was posted in John LeCarre, rain, romance, Telling Tuesday, WriteToDone. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Telling Tuesdays 3/20/12 : "It was raining."

  1. ed_quixote says:

    Yes, highly romantical! I forgot my soggy discomfort as I stood in the rain watching them. Only one suggestion: “makeup” one word, not two.


  2. Jan Morrill says:

    Thank you, ed_quixote. Imagine. A man had to correct me on my spelling of “makeup.” 🙂


  3. Russell says:

    Excellent scene. Seems like these poor folks are often caught between obeying the rules of their culture and following their heart. You did a great job of conveying her thoughts and emotions.


  4. Jan Morrill says:

    It's honor versus desire, Russell. I wonder which will win? Stay tuned to find out. 🙂


  5. Linda Austin says:

    Now I might actually read a Harlequin set in Japan!


  6. Jan Morrill says:

    Thanks, Linda. It'll be interesting to see if I can pull this off. 🙂


  7. Madison Woods says:

    I thought you did a good job. Romance isn't something that I've done either, at least not consciously. In fact, just trying to think of something to write, I'm drawing blanks…


  8. Jan Morrill says:

    Thanks, Madison. It's a lot harder than I thought it would be. I can have all these romantic thoughts, but when it comes to putting them on paper . . .


  9. Beth says:

    Beautiful scene. I could feel her shyness, desire–and guilt. Loved learning new Japanese terms, too.

    The only suggestion I'd make is changing where he violently grabbed her arm to his firm grip or some other masculine term to define his strong grip. The word “violent” made me wonder if he was a bad guy.

    Loved everything else. Well done on your first romance. You can easily break into that genre, Jan!


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