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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34 comments on “Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 21- Janna
  1. calensariel says:

    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. daezarkian says:

    Emotionally gripping. Terrific as ever, Christina!

  3. Sarah W says:

    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! 🙂

    • 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. 🙂

  4. Evelyn Jules says:

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. Everyone has said it. Heartbreaking journey for the main characters with more to come. Beautiful writing.

  8. Oh no, she’s dead? I almost cried. How sad. Great writing though!

  9. Alexis Duran says:

    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”).

  10. Lorien Lyn says:

    An emotionally heartfelt snippet. It’s always tough to write these scenes but a fantastic job on showing.

  11. So heart-wrenchingly sad.

  12. Tense and emotional. I’m hooked and curious to see what happens next. Great 8!

  13. ralfast says:

    I don’t know, the lady at the inn seems a tad too calm for my taste.

  14. Kate Warren says:

    Oh! I want to cry too now.

  15. caitlinstern says:

    So terribly sad, you can feel it. I like the “horrible eyes” line. It’s not about the color, it’s about the personality.

  16. calensariel says:

    OMG! I’m feeling so cheated because I’ve not read anything about this Maya! I’m going to throw a tantrum! (I LOVE the new pix, btw. I love anything castle!)

    • 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. 🙂

  17. Sad but effective. Maya seems like a wonderful person, so I’m glad they went to her.

    • In the midst of all the bad stuff, I can’t help but think there still had to be a few good people around. Plus, I have to keep Janna alive until she’s more permanently rescued. 🙂

  18. Aheïla says:

    A well-rendered emotional moment. We can hear Maya’s discomfort and empathy in her dialogue and the information is all delivered smoothly.

  19. 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! 🙂

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