Snippet #31 of The Unicornologist

Snippet #31 of The Unicornologist

Every Sunday, the Weekend Writing Warriors share 8-10-sentence snippets from their works-in-progress on their blogs for others to read and comment on. Join the fun! Click on the link to see the full list.

Hillary’s dad and his new wife are leaving on a belated honeymoon this morning. Hillary, in an effort to get them out of the house as quickly as possible (so she can go camping in the woods all by herself, unbeknownst to them), is preparing a send-off breakfast. Meanwhile, she’s remembering what life was like before her step-mom moved in. I’m trying to differentiate what’s happening now (not in italics) with what happened after her mother died (in italics). Is it clear? Did I pull it off? [Note: this excerpt is creatively edited to fit the length restrictions.]

She remembered the day after her mother’s funeral, the day she and her father had to start living daily life alone together, the day they had to learn to face the new normal. Dad had instructed her in the fine art of cracking eggs so that little pieces of shell didn’t defile them.

With a wooden spoon, she stirred the eggs just a little. Soon, she was so skilled at making scrambled eggs that it became their Saturday morning ritual. Why did she ever stop? She set the table and stirred the eggs some more while the aroma of the coffee wafted upward.

Hearing her parents stirring upstairs, she put two pieces of hot toast in the bread basket and stuck two more uncooked slices in the toaster. Then she remembered: she stopped making breakfast when Dad married Kate. The first Saturday she lived with them, Kate just made breakfast herself, like that was what she was supposed to do. Without even asking, she started replacing Hillary in Dad’s life, just like she replaced Mommy. 

I know it’s short (the limit is ten sentences), but what do you think of this small excerpt from Chapter 18? Any suggestions on how I can make it better? Please comment below.

13 responses »

  1. Nice little touch of daily life,showing so much about her loss. The wrting concept is extremely well done. The problem is that italics are normally used for emphasis on a word or two, and for internal thoughts. I’ve never seen it used in this fashion, to try to show the past (which doesn’t mean it hasn’t been of course) and I think it’s confusing. If you could make it all her own internal thoughts perhaps? Best wishes with the book…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with the others that the italics aren’t necessary. Great job, though, on showing (not telling) how things have changed since Kate came aboard by making breakfast–even if she has an ulterior motive.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think the italics are needed, I found them a little distracting. But I like the small detail of a family ritual lost, and her mourning over it. Though I wonder if the stepmom had any idea she was destroying a tradition…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think the use of the italics could work if it denoted only her thoughts of the past. I think it almost works here, maybe just a little tweaking and have the italics separated from the non-italics sections. Otherwise, it show very clearly, through the mundane act of making scrambled eggs, how her life has been scrambled not once, but twice. Very poignant.

    Liked by 1 person

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