Weekend Writing Warriors – Trapped!

Got a writing piece that you want to share with the world? Then give Weekend Writing Warriors a go. I’m so glad I did! Here’s another eight from The Burning Night

Melissa and Ashley have just been deposited into a strange room by a revolving couch. I’m skipping ahead in the scene to the part where the girls get to their feet and try to make sense of where they are. I shared this  excerpt months ago, but as you will see it has been edited. This is in Melissa’s POV.

On with the eight:

Pushing my hair away from my face, I gazed at the suffocating, steel walls that completely surrounded us. I looked down at the icy metallic floor under my feet, puzzled by its honeycomb pattern that blanketed the entire room. Something about this floor caused a chill to gush down my back. Ashley rubbed her arms as if she had just come out of a freezer, but I knew it wasn’t because of the chilly air.

“Mel, t-t-tell me you got your cell phone with you?” My stomach clenched when I saw the terror in her innocent eyes.

“I don’t…it’s in my room,” I conceded. The color instantly drained from her face as she clutched her tank top.


Scary, no? Some of you probably recall that floor (hope you weren’t cringing too much!) I’d love to know what you think, keep in mind that this a first draft. I’ll continue with this next week. The next snippets I share have been posted before, but they have been redone and would like to know what you think. I would like to thank everyone for your helpful critiques last week – that’s the kind of help I need.

Click on Weekend Writing Warriors for the complete list of participating authors.

I’m also participating on Facebook’s Snippet Sunday.

Have a great Sunday!


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49 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors – Trapped!

  1. historysleuth1

    Yes, I remember this story. I can tell you’ve tightened the flow. I would leave out “crumpled my brows and gulped” to tighten it up a bit more and get right to her spotting the floor. You painted a very vivid picture here, I can feel their fear. Trust your reader to picture in their mind what her facial expressions are. I can see it clearly without those words and it leads me to her face instead of the floor. It’s the floor that’s important.

    So maybe like, “Pushing my hair away from my face, I gazed at the suffocating, steel walls that completely surrounded us.” Its a great visual. You’ve shown me her fear of the unknown and feeling claustrophobic. No need to tell me her body expression, I can see it just fine in my minds eye. 🙂

    Scary, yes!

    • An excellent suggestion! I’ve already made the change and I appreciate your feedback, since I’m editing this. I guess I’m not giving my readers enough credit.

  2. historysleuth1

    I mean leads me to her face instead of the walls. Sigh… Why do I try this on my iPad?

  3. owlladywriter

    LOL @ Cindy’s comment!

    Frank, this is turning out great. It sure made me shiver. I may have to buy this when it’s ready 🙂

    • Glad you like it. I hope you can be patient enough to wait for this to come out, but it’s nice to know that I have a potential buyer.

  4. Yikes! A very alarming and visual scene. I like the interaction of the characters, seemed very realistic. The one thing that caught me was “almost impressed”. Maybe this is a side of Melissa’s character I’m not used to yet. How could she be so blasé in such a bizarre situation?

    • Well she says she’s ‘almost’ impressed and she’s aware of the situation. She has never seen a floor like this, so she can’t help noticing.

  5. Good critique going on here, Frank. Concentrate on the horror of the floor and trapped, claustrophobic feeling. I’d delete ‘almost’. Takes away from the desperate situation.

  6. Now I want to know what the deal is with the floor. I’ll have to get caught up. 🙂

    Since you’re asking for feedback, I’d suggest replacing the word “innocent” with a physical description of her eyes. One word should do it. Are they glassy? Bulging? Wet with tears ready to spill? Tell us what her eyes look like and lead us to the conclusion they’re innocent and terror-filled. Just my $0.02, YMMV.

    • Thanks for the suggestion. I’m going to use one of the words you’ve offered. As for the floor, you’ll find out more about it in the next few snippets and there’s no need for you to get caught up.

  7. I’m just going to say I do remember this scene very vividly so you’re definitely on the right track! quite a spooky story and this is an excellent excerpt, even before the editing suggestions…

  8. very tense scene, well done!

  9. You’ve created a scary place! Since I’m a little bit claustrophobic, this is a room that I’d be desperate to escape.
    I agree with Charmaine. I’d remove “almost.”
    “I gazed at” and “I looked down” seem to remove the character a little bit. Maybe try something a little more active that shows the iciness and immediately shows its effect on the character.
    Waves of frigid air wafted/rose/ from the metallic floor and seeped through the soles of my shoes. [ or whatever it did!]

    • Thanks Sandra, I’ve already taken Charmaine’s suggestion and made the change. I got a few similar comments about that one, but then again it’s nice to see that.

      I also love your suggestion about the floor bit; I wouldn’t have thought to use that. I’m still a newbie writer, as you can see.

  10. The walls made me react more than the floor, being a little claustrophobic. Lots of nice detail!

  11. Of all the times to not be glued to your cellphone…

    Nice tension and description. I love the way the younger sister turns to her big sister, trusting her to make it all right.

    • In this situation, Ashley has to turn to her big sister. It’s the kind of moment that brings even the most distant relatives together.

  12. This feels much more immediate than the earlier version.

  13. chellecordero

    Some great visuals, the honeycombed floor definitely intrigues and scares me (honeycombed as in bees? Yikes) The only suggestion I have since this is in Mel’s POV – the line “Ashley rubbed her arms as if she had just come out of a freezer, but I knew it wasn’t because of the chilly air.” How would Mel KNOW why Ashley was rubbing her arms – either just leave the line off after freezer, or have Mel observe the air isn’t chilly. Nice stuff.

    • Thanks for your suggestion. I can take that out, I guess I overlooked Mel knowing why her sister was rubbing her arms.

  14. That was a scary snippet–I was rooting for Mel to have her cell phone, too, but then there’d be no story.

  15. I like this better than the first version, too, and the first version was chilling enough for me (pun totally intended 🙂 ).

    Not sure about the word “conceded”—it may just be me, but I always read that as “agreed”, and she isn’t agreeing with Ashley. Just a thought, but maybe “admitted”?

    • I thought that this version needed a touch up. I see your point about ‘conceded’, but oddly enough I’ve seen writers use this which means admitted. But I could change it, after all no two readers are alike.

  16. Tense snippet, enjoying the atmosphere!

  17. Great snippet. My only suggestion would be to leave out “innocent”. Not sure a teen would think of her younger sister’s eyes that way. But I could be wrong;).

  18. Karen Michelle Nutt

    Definitely felt the tension and what the heck is going on!! Well done!

  19. elainecsc2013

    Nice visuals, but I have to find out about the floor.

  20. burnsmillie

    Concede’s first usage in the dictionary is to acknowledge, often reluctantly, that something’s true. So, it kind of works, but it’d be better if her sister sort of accused her of not having it…then she could concede she is right. But since her sister is asking her if she has it, she probably should admit she doesn’t. That’s my humble take on it. Frank, I can see how much work you’ve put in…it’s coming together : )

    • I’ve taken that into account. Judging by the number of related comments, I’m glad I haven’t overlooked it.

  21. I definitely agree about the ‘gazing’ and ‘looking.’ It’s really tempting to use words like that–I definitely do. But when you’re writing from one POV, everything is through their gaze.

    When I remind myself of that, it makes it easier to not include info they can’t know, or ‘look’ too much.

    Love all the emotional reactions of the sisters–you can really feel the tension.

    • I’m not used to first person POV. I suppose I got tripped up by that, but we all make errors as writers.

  22. This is scary.

  23. I don’t know much about the floor but that honeycomb pattern… *shiver* Looking forward to finding out more, even though it sounds like it’s only going to get scarier.

  24. This little snippet was definitely creepy! Good job.

  25. Oh, I remember this, Frank! And yes, you’ve tightened it up so much. Wonderful. And it’s even scarier now! Well done!!

  26. augustmacgregor

    This will teach me to watch out for revolving couches! I like how you described the room, as I right away got a sense of the environment (especially those suffocating walls). You’ve put your characters in a great dramatic situation!

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