Amelia walked down the brightly lit hall, heels clicking along the tiled floor. It wasn’t the first time she had been here and it most definitely would not be the last. The ominous text message she had gotten from George only said to come quickly. She had left campus immediately, not even texting Jonathan to tell him where she was going. If it was what she had feared, he was going to be where she was and wouldn’t need a text anyway. This was the hospital their entire family went to. It was the only one they would ever use. The only difference was which room she needed to be in.
The door at the end of the hall slid open soundlessly and she slipped inside, fearing what would be in the small bed on the other side. She clutched the bouquet of stargazer lilies tightly in her hand, crushing the bright red bow wrapped around them. She hadn’t known what flowers to get at the florist right near the hospital. As soon as she had seen the bright pink flowers in the tiny shop, she remembered when Jonathan had given Phoebe a language of flowers book the Christmas before their huge fight. She and Phoebe had poured over it for ages, trying to come up with the most ridiculous bouquets. Stargazer lilies meant optimism. How ironic.
By the time she got to the hospital, the rest of the family was there. She unwrapped her dark blue scarf from around her neck and tried to smile, but she couldn’t force herself to act like everything was normal. Jonathan was there, as expected, as were the rest of her siblings. Even Richard was there, in his dumpy old argyle sweater he refused to get rid of. Her twin walked over and pulled her into a hug, resting his chin on top of her head. She couldn’t hear what he was murmuring into her bright red hair, trying to keep himself from crying. Then he let go of her and wiped the tears from her wind-reddened cheeks.
Amelia walked over to Joseph and held out the bouquet. He took it and smiled sadly at her, trying not to let his sister see him cry. She hugged him tightly and then stepped back.
This short piece of writing was me experimenting with using no dialogue in a piece. I’ve noticed in class and workshop that I depend too much on dialogue in my novella and I want to make my work more balanced. Cold Mountain is an excellent example of a work that does not depend on dialogue to get a well-written story across, instead using descriptions of emotions and places.
I think that it would be good to balance dialogue and descriptions in my work. Too many paragraphs of descriptions can be boring, but too much dialogue leaves the world empty of what it looks, feels, and sounds like. A balance of the two is good for making sure that the reader gets the best of both worlds.