Weekend Writing Warriors – A Painful Dance



I hope you all are having a wonderful Easter weekend, wherever you are. It has been a week of wacky weather in my neck of the woods (snow, rain, cold, etc). Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the place where writers share eight sentences from their stories. I’m also participating on Facebook’s Snippet Sunday.

This week we pick up from last week’s snippet of my YA horror, The Burning Night. The previous snippet can be found here.

Set-up: Melissa and Ashley are trapped in a chamber by Emily and her two daughters, who watch them from a skylight above. One of Emily’s daughters has flipped a power switch, which makes the entire floor under Melissa and Ashley’s feet glow red-hot! With nothing to grab onto, the barefoot girls constantly lift up one foot after the other as they try to avoid harsh burns. Emily and her daughters delight in watching them suffer a killer hot foot.

This is in Melissa’s POV and with a little bit of creative punctuation.

The eight:


“Look at ‘em dance, girls,” Emily razzed, her scornful voice pricking me like darts.

“Ow! Ouch! Ow! Ow! Hot!” Ashley repeatedly cried, wincing as she desperately tried to keep her feet off the blazing floor. The pained expression on her face made my heart crack. With bulging eyes, she glanced at her poor feet as they endured painful burns with every touch of the floor. Turning to me with frantic eyes she cried, “It-it’s like l-lava on my f-feet, wh-what are we gonna do?!?”   

“I-I dunno!”

A chorus of cheeky squeals filled the air, dominating our cries as well as our feet thumping against the hot surface. The three women beamed at us from behind the skylight and I cried, “You…sick bi-bitches this re-really hu-hurts…wh-why are you torturing us?!?”


Good question! You can get a good sense of Ashley and Melissa’s anguish. How much more can their poor feet take? I would very much love to know your thoughts (yes I know this is scary). I look forward to reading your snippets today, too.

Visit the official site of Weekend Writing Warriors for the complete list of participating authors. If it’s your first time, I’d like to suggest you visit some of my favorite authors: Veronica Scott, Sarah Cass, Sarah Wesson, Millie Burns and Caitlin Stern.

I’m heading off to Spain next week for two months, so sadly I won’t be participating on W.W.W. for the next few weeks. I will return once I’m settled in Spain. Until then I’ll miss you all! Before I go, I’m thinking of changing the title of my story and I would like some feedback, if it’s not too much trouble. My possible suggestions are:

1. Girl On a Hot Tin Roof
2. Hot Time in the Old House
3. Heat

What do you think? If you can suggest a different title based on the snippets I would welcome that as well. Click on the Contact Me tab on my site if you want to give me a detailed suggestion. Thanks so much!

Happy Easter!



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43 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors – A Painful Dance

  1. Wow, Spain? Have a great time! I kind of like “Heat” for your new title. A very scary and emotional snippet — those poor girls.

  2. Karen Michelle Nutt

    OUCH! Poor girls. I also want to know the purpose of the torture. I like Heat for the title, too.

    And Happy Easter to you, too!!

    • Emily enjoys this kind of torture. It’s meant to make the girls suffer. Hope that answers your question.

  3. ooooh, this has me cringe…

  4. Poor girls – hope they figure a way out or a solution soon. My feet hurt just from reading. Nice #8.

  5. Very good descriptions. I felt the agony. Re:titles-Nix on all. Heat isn’t a good title for YA and the others leave me um, cold. SPain for 2 months-the best. Bon Voyage.

  6. Frank! Where in Spain are you going? I live in Madrid! Been living here for over 20 years.

    As for the snippet *shudder* I can barely imagine the pain they’re going through. There’s one thing that caught my attention in this snippet though, you use the word cried/cries several times- maybe change two-three of them? In my opinion it sounds a little repetitive.

    • I can change the cries. Thanks for the input. I didn’t know you lived in Madrid (I lived there for 3 months in the past). I’m going to Seville, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to go to Madrid, but it’s nice to know someone from W.W.W. there. I’ve actually travelled to every region on the Spanish mainland and Andalusia is my favorite one.

      • I haven’t been to Seville since I was a kid! A lot of people are in love with the south of Spain. If you ever come to Madrid let me know and we’ll meet up 🙂

      • Thanks. I’m actually going to be looking for a job teaching English in Spain (I have an Irish passport). I shall definitely stay in touch and let you know when I come to Madrid (It’s my favorite European city).

  7. Frank, just so you know, I fold up real small, like a t-shirt 😀 😀 We’ll miss you at WeWriWa but I hope you get settled with no problems.

    I’m not sure you need to specify that Ashley “repeatedly” cried – to me her dialog of exclamations has that covered. Adverbs and adjectives are good in the right places; I just don’t think this one is important right there.

    I suck at titles myself. I don’t normally read YA so don’t know what kinds of titles the genre usually has. But, I kind of like “Girl on a Hot Tin Roof.” It avoids a sexual implication and I think it’s clever, even though in the story it’s the floor that gets hot.

    • Thanks for your comments. I wish I could take you along :D. I’ll miss you all too, but I’ll share snippets once I’m settled. I can change the ‘repeated’ part and I appreciate your feedback with the title.

  8. The more I see of Emily and her daughters, the less I like them. That kind of excited enjoyment has to have root in something sick.

    Thinking about the titles, I agree that nearly anything involving ‘hot/heat’ is going to sound like Romance–it’s amazing how many titles use those words…

    • Emily and her daughters are unlikable, but there has to be at least one unlikable character in any story. They are sick and enjoy bullying others. A sane person couldn’t possible delight in watching teens having their feet burned.

  9. Great snippet. I would suggest that you don’t use a one word title for your story. Unfortunately there are a lot of those in YA, which makes it difficult to stand out.
    Have a wonderful time in Spain!

    • Thanks for that. Someone has already suggested a great title that is three words in length. I agree about the one-word titles – not enough info to convey the themes.

  10. Wow, Emily and her daughters are evil! I’m curious to find out what’s up with them. Regarding the title, I kind of prefer the current one, The Burning Night.

    • I can’t say what is up with them yet as that would give the story away. Let’s just say they’re just plain sick. The three enjoy intimidating and bullying others. Thanks for the feedback.

  11. Wow, you give us hot feet and leave! Poor Melissa and Ashley, worse than walking on the beach barefooted in summer. Hope your your trip to Spain whether for work or pleasure is enjoyable.

    • I feel bad for leaving when my chars are in such a pickle. I agree that this is much worse than walking on the beach; think of it as being on a cooking hob barefoot – Ouch! I’ve been wanting to go to Spain for awhile – it’s something I have to do or I’ll regret it. Thanks for the wishes.

  12. First of all, enjoy the trip and we’ll miss you! Second, your poor girls surely are in a tough situation (but very well written). Third, not sure any of the titles works for me. “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” has a lot of cancer, sex, death, lies…not sure you want that association for a YA by giving it a title that’s so close-sounding. This story makes me think of a modern take on Hansel and Gretel more than anything so maybe try going in that direction for a title? Not their names specifically but more of a grim tale kinda thing? Whatever, best wishes to you!

    • Thanks for your feedback. I see your point about the titles, so I can leave it alone. I’ll miss you too.

  13. Wow! Not a nice family to meet! You capture the situation well. Just one thought, in the last sentence you might consider removing “This really hurts.” IMO it is obvious, and to me the phrase weakens the punch of the sentence.

  14. Hope you soon get settled in Spain Frank! Not sure about the titile, it’s always the hardest part of the job for me (along with the synopsis!) I’ve enjoyed these snippets!

    • The title isn’t a big deal, I just thought the one I have was a little plain. Thanks for your feedback and I’ll be back once I’m settled in Spain.

  15. siobhanmuir

    What a hopeless situation. Great snippet, Frank. I like “Hot Time in the Old House” but I’d also suggest “Hot House Flowers” meaning both the heat of the house and the flowers being a euphemism for the girls. Good luck with a job in Spain, Frank. 🙂

    • Yes it is a dire situation for them indeed, but that’s what makes it a great read. I like “Hot House Flowers”. I’m glad you suggested a different title than the ones I had. Thanks for the wishes.

  16. To me the worst part is that they don’t know why.

  17. Have a fantastic time in Spain, Frank. I’ve never been, but it’s on my bucket list. 🙂 Those are some evil wenches. I hope your heroines can hold out until help arrives or they figure out how to get away. Great emotional punch in that scene. See you in a couple of weeks!

  18. I think this is where I recall you leaving off, last year. And the neat thing is, it left a lasting impression on me all this time!

    I like Heat for the title.

    Spain?!?! Safe journeys, Frank! I hope you enjoy your time there. We’ll miss you too, and look forward to having you come back to us when you’re settled in. 🙂

    • When I return I will share more from this. I didn’t leave off quite at this stage, but close enough. Thanks for the wishes.

  19. burnsmillie

    I like Hot time in the Old House for a title…and I really hate those ladies Frank, they are pure evil! Have a great time in Spain!!!

    • Thanks, I’ll miss you. I hate these ladies too. Only evil people would enjoy seeing this kind of torture.

  20. I hope you’ll have fun in Spain, I was there only for few days. It should be really nice at this time of the year.

  21. Gem

    Have fun in Spain. Love the snippet.

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