One of my challenges in my current work-in-progress A CHRISTMAS RECIPE is the voice of 16-year-old Emily. I didn't want her to sound like the adults in the book.
In the scene below, Emily is fussing because her great-grandmother's sudden hospitalization may keep her parents from attending her high school choir's winter concert. Then the phone rings. Tell me if you think I'm doing Em justice.
Mom opened the door. “What is it, Em?”
“There’s a phone call for Dad. It sounds important.”
Mom turned back into the office, a worried look on her face. There was some murmuring and then she asked me, “Do you know who it is?”
I shook my head.
From inside the office, I heard Dad say, “I’ll take it.”
I went back into the kitchen to hang up the phone, but just before I put it down, I put the receiver to my ear, just to be sure Dad had answered before I hung it up, and that’s when I heard him say, “Oh no. When?”
I felt my heart jolt, just as if I’d stubbed it on something, but I couldn’t stop listening. “Just a few minutes ago,” the voice on the other end answered. “Would you or your family like to see her before we call the funeral home?”
Funeral home. My hands shook as I dropped the phone and I heard an awful noise. It took me a second to realize I was the one making it, and in that moment, it occurred to me that there were worse things than having my family miss my concert.
I had never known anyone who died before.
Does Emily's voice work for you? Share your thoughts?