I’m currently writing a scene where my protagonist is told his wife has been murdered. I’m finding it hard to express the emotions in my character without feeling like I’m over the top. This is the moment he is told his wife is dead. He doesn’t yet know she was murdered.
Detective Hart swallowed and continued, “Early this morning your wife . . . I’m sorry to have to tell you this but early this morning your wife was in an accident.”
Ethan looked at the detective wanting to see some indication of hope, something that would lead to the words; you need to get to the hospital. Those words never came. He mulled them over and over in his mind. The detective said she was in an accident. He didn’t say she was dead. He didn’t say there was no hope. She hadn’t returned his call from this morning and he’d had a feeling something was wrong. Even though he had a feeling that something was wrong. Ethan tried to muster the courage to ask the question that hung in the air like the stench of last night’s garlic, the question that, when answered, he knew would bring an end to his world. Once he had the answer he couldn’t un-know it. To ask would be inviting despair; not asking would be worse.
“Is she . . .” Ethan said, attempting the question. “Did she . . .” he tried again but failed.
Seeing Ethan’s struggle the detective, in his own way, helped, “Your wife is dead.”
Every time I read through this I change something. At this point I’m trying to leave it alone until I have some of my alpha and beta readers have a crack at it. If you have any ideas or suggestions please feel free to comment. This is for the novel I’m currently writing called Secrets.