Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 21- Janna

wewriwaIt’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

Last week, Janna and Anton watched a bunch of scary people destroy the farm they were staying at. With no food, no money, and nowhere to go, they make their way to a tavern whose proprietor- Maya- helped Janna when she was first on her way to the farm.

Maya was outside, watering some flowers in a pot by the door. “Why, it’s you again,” she said, her pleasant face creased in a smile. “You and your boy- though I could’ve sworn you had a little girl last time you were here.”

Janna had thought she couldn’t possibly cry anymore, but the moment she tried to speak, the tears came again.

“Oh dear,” Maya said, “something dreadful’s happened, hasn’t it? We’ve been hearing the most terrible stories these past few days.”

“My sister’s dead,” Anton said, as Janna tried to gulp down her sobs. “That woman with the horrible eyes killed her.”

Previous snippets are here.

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40 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 21- Janna

  1. Very heart-wrenching. I’m getting excited to read ALL of it! On a purely technical note, I’d take “some” out of that first sentence. Flowers are more than one already, so it’s kind of redundant. Just me being nit-picky? This is terrific as usual!

  2. I’m still hoping that the little girl survived—though considered what might have happened to her instead, maybe I don’t?

    At least Janna and Anton have one friend to turn to. . .

    I’m absolutely hooked on this, Christina! 🙂

    1. Well, they’ve actually found the little girl’s body already (I hated writing that part so much, I didn’t want to dwell on it for eight more sentences), so there’s no hope there. But considering what Janna and Anton still have to live through, it probably is just as well. And no, I don’t enjoy torturing my characters, in case anyone was wondering. 🙂

  3. Oh, so sad. 😦 I love the way you describe Maya. I already have such a clear visual of her in my mind. I think she’s the perfect person to help ease the pain and terror they’ve been through.

  4. I feel so bad for that little boy. The things he’s witnessed. And even though Janna is breaking down here, she’s such a strong character. Revealing her weakness really tugs at the reader’s heart.

  5. The scene is heartbreaking, especially since you can tell without having read previous snippets that this death has hit Janna hard, and being strong is becoming difficult for her. I’m definitely interested in the circumstances and want to know what will happen next. Great writing!

  6. I see all three characters so clearly. I love the juxtaposition of Janna tearing up and her son matter-of-factly stating the brutal truth. Very nice snippet. (oh, if we’re going to pick on the flowers, I’m always being told to use specifics when possible, so for instance “roses” or “geraniums” would present a clearer picture than “flowers”).

    1. Well, I actually never did write that previous Maya scene. I guess I thought it would be repetitive because of this one. Hopefully, what happens still makes sense in the end.

      That’s one of my favorite castles- Cochem, in Germany. It’s got a gorgeous location too, right on the Mosel River. They grow good wine there, too. 🙂

  7. Love it! So heartbreaking and painful, I just don’t know what to do with myself!

    One tiny nit-picky suggestion. I feel like the “said” tag bogs down the flow a tiny bit, especially right at the beginning of the snippet. One possible revision:

    “Why, it’s you again,” she said, her pleasant face creased in a smile.

    Becomes:

    “Why, it’s you again!” Her pleasant face creased in a smile.

    Since you were just talking about Maya, there’s no confusion about who is speaking. My personal preference is that, unless you NEED that confirmation, avoid using “said” tags at all. There’s so many more interesting ways to portray the nuances of a conversation. 🙂

    Otherwise, awesome snippet! Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

    1. Thanks! I know I have “said” tags everywhere. I don’t really like using anything else for dialogue, so I tend to overuse that one. I think I’ll try it without as much as possible.

  8. I know I’m VERY late reading this one – but, OUCH! It hits me where I live. Other people may not see it, but, for me, there’s always the gap between our son and our daughter that their brother so briefly occupied…and I can hear my boy’s three year old declaration when folks admired his little sister. “I had a baby brother, but he died.”

    Janna and Anton, I grieve with you.

      1. I’m glad you can’t imagine it. All I can say is that Elijah would be 12, now, and there isn’t a moment when I’m not aware that he isn’t. What was once the sharpest, most jagged pain of my life has worn mostly smooth with time, like a river pebble, but it never goes away, and there are times when sharp places can still cut me to the quick.

        I imagine it’ll always be that way…

        Maybe because we’ve known such grief, we also embrace joy and wonder, around here. Hugs and healing thoughts are always gratefully accepted! ❤

      2. I think you’re right about how experiencing grief helps amplify joy and wonder when we feel it again. My first husband died about 10 years ago, and at the time I was convinced I’d never be happy again. Not only was I wrong, but I found I appreciated any new joy that came into my life a lot more than I had before. I guess there’s no substitute for being put through the wringer, unfortunately.

      3. I’m so, so sorry for that loss. When I was 25, I was engaged to a man who had cystic fibrosis. He died 2o years ago, and, like you, I thought I wouldn’t ever find love again. But I had promised him that if someone worthy wanted to love me, I would let them.

        A little over two years later, I married my Accomplice. Eighteen years of mostly happy and always love have followed.

        I was wrong too, and, like you, I notice and appreciate joy much more often than I once did.

        Maybe there isn’t a better way than the wringer, after all….

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