Why Conversing with My Teenaged Sister Makes Me a Better Writer
Whenever I go home to visit my family I expect to leave with a six pack and a stomach ache from working my ab muscles so hard. They are the funniest people in the entire world. I swear to you. I’m the oldest of four, I have a younger brother and two sisters.
Once when I broke up with a boyfriend (the first I ever brought home for Thanksgiving and after the parenthesis you’ll know why) my brother responded to the news “Oh because he was gay?”
I was shocked, “You thought he was gay?”
“Yeah we all did. Nobody told you? Mom said he put the fruit in fruity.” <—-Imagine a Nigerian accent for that last part.
My father holds two PhD’s but he still gets down to our level, especially with my little sister. They like to trade insults, my sister referring to him as an African Bill Cosby and my father telling her to quiet down with her “cat teeth”. <—-Again imagine a Nigerian accent for that last part.
Recently while taking a walk with my sister, we were actually walking to the nearest store to get chocolate and we had to walk because I no longer have a car and well she’s sixteen. Anyway I was attempting to describe the adorableness of this barista I recently grew a crush on (I tend to get crushes on baristas or bartenders). But this barista had dimples that made me want to swoon, I decided to exclaim ” He has like 500 dimples!”
My sister replies “Eeew that’s gross! Is he like a crater face?”
Not the reaction I hoped to get. I stutter, “No he just has really deep dimples and when he smiles they get even deeper. He has a great smile.”
“Oh! Why didn’t you just say that? I’m over here thinking he’s like from the Syfy channel and shit.” <—Imagine a Jersey accent for that last part.
Lesson learned. Later I applied the it to a character description I was working on for my next book. Instead of ” it was like he had a thousand eyes on her” <—don’t want people thinking he’s like from the Syfy channel and shit —I wrote “she could always sense when he was looking at her, there was such force behind his gaze”.
Much better, no?
What about you guys? What helps make you a better writer?