Question 1) What pov did you use?
First person, past tense, moving to present tense in the last few paragraphs – I wanted to bring the reader to the here and now as if our protag was reminiscing as she wandered her parents’ house, only to discover… well, I wouldn’t like to say at this point.
Question 2) Describe your protag with three basic characteristics (e.g. male, late 50's, hates sponsored swimming events).
Female, Early 30s, Hatred for her mother, adoration for her father
Question 3) What is your protag's name?
We only ever hear her father calling her Princess.
Question 4) How many secondary characters did you use?
Mother, Father, Dog, Mortician, and Girl on bed.
Question 5) What was your opening line? Why?
When I first wrote this (as a 1,000 word piece) for my NAW course, it began:
I used to look upon papa and her as love birds.
Rewriting the whole thing for the compo I changed it to this:
She’d steal me from the twilight world of my bedroom with dark eyes and hair like a nest of snakes.
I really needed to shore up the writing, give it some greater imagery than the “tell” of the first. I realised I didn’t need to tell the reader about the love between the parents. That would come through in the mother’s sorrow. What was important was the relationship between the daughter and her mother (She).
Question 6) How many names did you invent (e.g. place names, character names, shop names, etc.)?
Question 7) How many similes did you use?
… hair like a nest of snakes… suckle at the ends like a baby on a teat… a wraithlike wind-chime…
She’d steal me… Papa’s voice sang… her perfume wreathed my head; the rainfall of her tears in my hair… The sky was forced to wear black too… It hung around the church spire, spitting angrily… She had masked herself in lavender… my lips tease the fleshy parts… bedroom materialises, dressed in dark-oaks and velvet velour
Question 8) Did you use devices of sound (e.g. alliteration, assonance, consonance, onomatopoeia)?
I end the piece with three sentences that begin: Here, as I…Onomatopoeia: squish, but nothing else.
Question 9) What primary/secondary theme/s did you use?
The subject of the piece, it seemed like a good idea at the time, actually comes last in the whole piece but has its nasty fingers threaded throughout. The whole concept began as one idea, based upon Terry Irwin being given the video of Steve Irwin’s death by Stingray. I wondered about the grief and angst associated not only with the loss but whether or not to watch the video. That all got turned on its head and what I wrote stemmed from Act two of Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander – loss of a parent and infidelity – but I wanted to spin that around also. Finally, it was… well, I daren’t say because it ruins the ending.
Question 10) Which of these did you intentionally use?: violence, sex, profanity, death, birth, hatred, love.
Death, hatred and love.