Weekend Writing Warriors – The Good Sister

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Greetings all and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the place to share 8 sentences with like-minded writers. I just returned from Spain and I’ve missed you all!  I was traveling a lot over the last month, hence why I was absent from W.W.W. I’m offering an eight from my YA horror short story, The Burning Night. Many of you will remember the previous snippets from this, but this eight is from the beginning of the story – sort of ‘calm before the storm’ bit.

The set-up: 18-year-old Melissa is angry with her dad for making her spend a few days at a rented country house in upstate New York. She moping in her new room, when her younger sister comes in to check on her. This is in Melissa’s POV.

The eight:

Ashley walked in clad in a tank-top, and rainbow-dotted baby blue lounge pants. Her euphoria-draped face made me cringe as I wrinkled a brow.

“We’re in a creepy house in the middle of the woods, not at a slumber party, retard,” I uttered under my breath.  She ran one hand through her damp blonde hair before laying down on the bed beside me. Her smooth arm pressed against my arm, warming it instantly. I gazed at the fluffy black slippers on her feet as she crossed her ankles.

“Thought you’d be headin’ out with mom and dad,” I said.

“Nah, kinda awkward and when dad told me you were stayin’ here, I didn’t want ya to be alone.”

 

Aww, kinda sweet don’t you think? I’d love to know what you think, keeping in mind this is a first draft and I’m editing it as we speak. I look forward to reading your snippets, too. I may not get to that until this evening as the World Cup final is on today and my attention will be on that as I’m a soccer fanatic. I’m pulling for Argentina.

Click on the link above for the official list of participating authors. Happy Sunday everyone!

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30 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors – The Good Sister

  1. Like the descriptions here, and how you establish their relationship in such a small snippet. Great 8!

    • Thanks. Yes, this scene shows the reader their relationship because they don’t interact much beforehand.

  2. No hint of why their parents are leaving them alone?

  3. chellecordero

    “euphoria-draped” – how perfectly cynical and teen-age observation. Certainly makes me wonder what that creepy house in the woods has in store for the two sisters.

  4. burnsmillie

    Welcome back Frank. Hope you had a great time! This is cute. Little sisters are generally super adorable. And I’m not just saying that because I’m the little sister in my family either : )

    • Thanks Millie, yes it was a great time for me, but I barely did any writing. I didn’t know you are the little sister in your family. Ashley is the type that is there for her big sister no matter what.

  5. They sound like my two girls, so you have hit that nail right on the head. I like the way the one teen is aware of the creepy house and the other oblivious. Again, like my two. 🙂 Great snippet.

    • Funny how our characters are similar. One sister has to be oblivious to the situation, otherwise it wouldn’t generate interest.

  6. Great way of showing sibling interaction at its worse. I’m not a fan of the use of the word, “retard” and would definitely correct that kid if she was mine. As a teacher and children’s writer, I’d prefer she’d call her something else.

    I’d also like to see the cheeriness in her walk. Instead of walked in, I suggest you find a stronger verb. The idea of her euphoria-draped face making the MC cringe is perfect! I get an excellent view of the characters but would like to see more of the creepy house surroundings. Maybe next week.

    Make sure you capitalize Mom and Dad when you use them as names. Well done.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/2014/07/weekend-writing-warriors-blog-hop-071314.html

    • I appreciate the suggestions. The creepiness of the house is revealed earlier, but it’s more of Melissa’s exaggeration in her perception.

  7. That’s a sweet scene Frank, good to have you back!

  8. So fortunate for the younger sister that Melissa does stick around. Interesting to be reading some of the beginning of the story now – thanks for. sharing that and welcome back! Excellent excerpt!

  9. I agre with Veronica—it’s nice to see how the beginning leads to the bits you’ve shared before.

    I’m getting a better idea of Ashley, now. 🙂

    • I’ll be sharing more of this. I thought that the beginning would a good way for readers to see Ashley and Melissa before they become trapped in that room.

  10. I actually read a snippet that you posted about this earlier, and it’s interesting to see how their dynamic changes after they get in trouble. I was an older sister, so I have a soft spot in my heart for Ashley, the younger sister. Melissa seems like a typical teenager XD I think the calm atmosphere you have set up is an interesting contrast to what happens later.

    This line ,”Ashley walked in clad in a tank-top, and rainbow-dotted baby blue lounge pants.” It sounds awkward written like that. I’m not really sure how to reword it. I tried a few times, and couldn’t make it not sound awkward. . .

    I was disturbed by the retard comment too :/ I mean I know that it’s Melissa’s thoughts, but it makes me dislike her. She comes off as judgmental and callous by using that word. I mean maybe that’s the reaction you want from the reader? I don’t know Melissa well enough to say.

    Now I’m curious how they go from this to the later scene I read. Looking forward to more 😀

    • I’m glad you remember that other snippet I posted. It’s quite the journey how they go from relaxing in a bedroom to hopping around on a hot floor. I found a way to reword the opening line, so it won’t look as awkward, but thanks for pointing that out.
      As for the ‘retard’ part, Ashley was acting very casual when Melissa first saw the house, so it annoys her that Ashley is so oblivious. Melissa is a judgmental girl and it wouldn’t be the same if she used a different word. Many siblings use that punchy humor with each other. My older brothers used to call me ‘shithead’ and ‘loser’ when I annoyed them.

      • Ah okay. Thanks for clarifying 🙂 Sometimes as a reader it’s hard to separate the fact that the characters are not representative of the author’s opinions. I just wrote a fic with a guy that kills himself and his religious beliefs are different than my own, so I get what you mean 😉

      • No problem. Melissa is also going through tough times. Her boyfriend dumped her a week before the story begins and she is also having issues with her dad. I value your input, though.

  11. Her sister’s trying to cheer her up! Though in the end, she’s right about the ‘creepy.”

    Why is her sister’s arm described as ‘smooth,’ though? It struck me as a strange word choice.

  12. Welcome back, Frank!! Glad you made it back safe and sound. 🙂

    It was nice getting to read earlier in the story. I liked the glimpse into their characters when they’re not fighting a life and death situation. Nicely done! 🙂

    • Thanks Teresa, it’s nice to see your wonderful comments again. You’ll see more of their characteristics under better circumstances.

  13. I love the contrast between Ashley’s description and how Melissa is feeling. Strong excerpt.

  14. Oh, yeah. They’re sisters. Perfect sister cynicism. I felt it.

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