You tell me – what happened?

It’s come to my attention that perhaps my story from earlier in the week, Her Sister, Her Life, was a little…vague.  Or unclear.  Or confusing.  Or something.  It’s hard to know how a reader will interpret a story that is purposely written in an ambiguous manner.

When I write, I’m either working with a completely blank slate and the plot and character development and all those writer-y phrases are all borne slowly and purposely as I’m writing, or my mind is filled to bursting with so many ideas and directions I could take the story that it’s difficult to string them together in a cohesive manner.  Either way works some days and fails miserably others.

So, sometimes when I write, I know that what I meant to say was clear and came across exactly how I meant it to.  But then other times I’m just sort of hoping against hope that the things implied and intentionally left unsaid are understood.  Sometimes it is and sometimes, I suppose, it isn’t.

Your comments on the story, and on others I’ve done recently, are overwhelmingly positive.  I can not thank you enough or express to you properly how good each and every one of them have made me feel. 

What I would love is for you to tell me what you think happened in the story Her Sister, Her Life.  Just a sentence or two in summary of what you took from the piece.  If you have a moment/get a chance/would be so kind.  I’m just very curious to hear how my words were interpretted, especially the ending.

However, I’m not going to tell you if you’re right or wrong, because I’m thinking about a part 2 and I wouldn’t want to ruin it for you!

So, please, tell me in a very book-club-esque sort of way, what happened during the story?

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26 thoughts on “You tell me – what happened?

  1. Jen, why would I tell YOU what happens in YOUR story. I don’t know if you are reading what I’m writing but I’m not going to ask you if you think my characters are crazy, stupid, or stupid crazy robots.

    I think your story is perfect the way it is. Or the way you determine to come out. I respect the artist in you.

    great job.

    • No, no. I don’t want you to tell me WHAT HAPPENED. I want to hear what you THOUGHT HAPPENED. *I* know what happened, but I want to know if *you* know what happened.

      And I don’t want to know what you think should happen or what you’d like to happen next. I want to know how my words from the story I already wrote were interpretted.

  2. I think that the twin had one of those “twin” moments where she knew what was happening to her sister. She was being hurt. Twin sister says to herself that she won’t let this happen again. Goes to sisters house to shot the abuser, but was already beaten to the punch. Justification.

  3. The good sister in all her assuming perfection is flawed, she’s tried to commit suicide numerous times. Each attempt takes her twin with her in spirit, let’s her feel her pain and anguish. The other twin knows the truth hidden from all but her. The secret the good twin hides behind with her perfect lies. Unable to take it anymore the other twin decides she has to end it once and for all. She can’t take living in her sisters head anymore.

    The thing about twins – they know the other’s mind intimately. The good twin does the deed – one last grace, one last offering of love for her sister, saving her the pain of living with the burden of the act itself. (Hugs)Indigo

  4. I thought that the 2nd sister was being abused by a spouse and the 1st sister knew this…knew that it happened again. 1st sister goes over to help/threaten/kill abuser. Finds 2nd sister on floor next to gun.
    Here’s where to me a couple things are possible in my mind:
    A)2nd sister ended the relationship with abuser and abuser shot her
    B)2nd sister ended the pain by shooting herself
    C)2nd sister shot abuser, but is badly beaten on the floor

    Can’t wait to find out what happened Jen. Do you have novel in the works yet?

    • ALL GOOD GUESSES.

      And no novel. I can barely concentrate long enough to write a 500 word post, let alone a 15,000 word novel (or however long those things are).

  5. unfortunately I’m just going to mix a few of the comments–I thought one twin was being abused and committed suicide; the other felt it–though the part about the sister who wasn’t “hurt” having been the sister who wasn’t loved as much by their parents led me to believe it could have had something to do with the parents

    I love ambiguous stories and this one was wonderful

  6. WOAH! The short story is one of my favorite formats and babe, you knocked this ‘lil ditty outta the park.

    What happened? no clue. Nor do I want to speculate. I’m an identical twin and as hard for this was to read I did not want it to stop.

    bravo jen

    • Thank you so much! I was wondering if a twin would read and what they’d think. I’m NOT a twin, but have several in the family and have been friends with a few, so they’ve always fascinated me. Ok, I’ll admit it. I was jealous. I wish I had a twin.

  7. The sisters are twins. They sense what is going on in eachother’s lives. Sister #1 senses that Sister #2 was beat up by her husband (yet again). Sister #1 decides to go over and kill the husband, but Sister #2, after being beat to a bloody pulp already killed the husband.

  8. So, I scrolled to the end of the comments without reading anyone else’s interpretations. It seems pretty clear that the sisters are twins. Twins have a connection that defies explanation. These sisters can feel the each other’s pain and thoughts/emotions. One is in an abusive relationship and is being beaten for the umpteenth time and decides to end the abuse permanently. The other sister is experiencing the events empathically, including the purchase of the same type of gun.

    Writer’s must make a leap of faith when they write. They must have faith that the reader will fill in the blanks. To try to describe everything in the most minute detail does not engage the reader. The art is figuring what to write and what NOT to write. It’s part of the reader’s journey to envision your world in their mind’s eye.

    • Oh, I agree 100%. I’ve never asked this question of anyone before, on this blog or in real life, regarding anything I’ve written. It was more an exercise in curiosity borne from a conversation I had that made it clear that not everyone envisions descriptive writing the same way. I was simply curious and found it all so very interesting, but it certainly won’t change the way I write or the way I approach storytelling.

  9. She was going to kill her sister’s husband because she felt a deep kinship with her and knew something was wrong. When she arrived, she found that her sister had already killed him.

  10. I haven’t read any of the other comments so this will probably be repetitive. I think that the sisters are twins and they have such a deep connection that they feel each others pain. One sister is in an abusive relationship and the other sister decided she is going to go over and kill the guy and end her sister’s pain for good. Once she gets there, she sees that the other sister has already killed him. There was a struggle because she is really hurt.

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