I’m scared

In the final snippet, lots of elements from previous snippets converge.

The car comes up the long drive towards us, but the engine noise is all wrong. Mum is going out. If I could, I'd go out too, but I'm all stuck, like the chair has hold of me. I'm scared, a bit. I am scared. I'm scared. There's fast talking out there. Isn't anyone gonna turn that engine off?

There's a lot going on in this one.

Expanding on the alert: Start with a link to the alert in the previous snippet, but...

Problem: Note that there’s something unexpected about it.

Secondary character response: What does the secondary character do?

Narrator response: What does the narrator do? Or what don't they do? (It might be easier to follow the rest of the snippet if the narrator can’t bring themselves to respond, but it’s up to you.)

Simile or metaphor: Amplify the feeling by using a simile.

Emotion: Let the narrator tell us how they really feel.

Repetition: Tim Winton repeats this two more times, varying it slightly, for effect. Try it out for yourself, but your mileage may vary.

Detail: What detail in the scene would reinforce the narrator's fears?

Question: Finally, the narrator asks themselves a question which betrays their emotions further.

In this snippet, the question is interesting. It gives us a physical detail (the engine is still running) and also reinforces how desperate and scared Ort is (because the question shows us how he wants the world to be more normal than it is).

While there’s a lot going on in this snippet, it’s not as challenging as some of the others we’ve done.

Focus on the idea of sustaining tension by stretching out the action, and by having the narrator engage with peripheral details in the scene.

The rider hits the edge of the light from our shop window, but it’s a man and he’s ringing his bell and shouting. Emmanuel is stepping towards him. I am holding the door frame, gripping the metal, like I’m keeping the building from collapsing. I feel sick. Sick in my stomach. Sick in my chest. Emmanuel and the man are making noises at me. Why don’t they use words? 

Now I can hear hoofbeats coming down the path but that’s not right a pony wouldn’t gallop like that. Mother is opening the door. I would go out but somehow I’m trapped, the wash tub holding my hands like a snare. I might be afraid. I’m definitely afraid. I’m full of fear. The rider is shouting. Shouldn’t he dismount and come in for tea?  

Write your variation here.