Voice Week 2011: Thursday

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Voice Week is almost over! I can hardly wait to read the genius work tomorrow, but it’ll be sad to see it end!

I decided to travel back in time for today’s piece.

If the woman had a single flaw, her flaw was weakness; weakness for the caresses of wandering sirs who were more knave than knight, and weakness for spirits when they left her for their more elegant wives. With tender, purplish splotches here and there on her once-lovely face, she would sit hunched over the bottle, her feet spread wide beneath her skirt, abandoning the feminine charms with which she so often veiled her pain. My father very likely had noble blood, but I cannot imagine he had a noble heart to match it.

From the prompt “alcoholic mother.” Read the other versions: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 5


Who does the character feel like to you? How old, what gender? Where did you think the voice was strong or weak? Let me know!

About Stephanie Orges

Stephanie is an award-winning copywriter, aspiring novelist, and barely passable ukulele player. Here, she offers writing prompts, tips, and moderate-to-deep philosophical discussions. You can also find her on and Pinterest.
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  1. Pingback: Voice Week 2011: Thursday « BeKindRewrite « Voice Week HQ

  2. Ooh I don’t know! This one sounds a lot more distant, and the voice in my head is male, but other than that I’m not sure. Adult sounding, but the line at the end throws me.

  3. Wow – beautifully written.
    The gender is a tough one. Could be male or female, due to the respectful, finished feel of it. Late teens to twenties. Royalty of sorts (;-)) I think this comes through strongest with the level of disconnect the protagonist has to their mother. They describe her very objectively, as if she has no personal connection. Perhaps it’s the shame of the disturbed royal blood that could never be revealed.
    A fascinating character who does not give much of their interior world away willingly.

  4. Very nicely written.
    A completely different voice. To me it seemed detached, almost lofty. Male I think, older person, worldly and wise.
    Interesting last line when he talks about his father, intrigued to know what the connection is.

  5. Hummmm, this is intriguing! I’m tempted to say that what we are hearing here is the voice of a illegitimate child – the child of this nobleman and the alcohollic woman. It sounds as if this person has had plenty of time around the woman, knows her intimately, and has seen the impact of his/her father on this woman.

    Or maybe the nobleman took the alcoholic woman in to ‘care’ for her, and the child we hear now has watched how that act of assistance turned brutal.

    This was excellent…really really good writing.

  6. Until the last line, I thought this was the voice of the narrator who isn’t a character. I forgot what that’s called. But sometimes that’s set up to be a twist, so that at the end it’s revealed that the narrator actually did have a tie to the story. And that’s kind of what you did here in short format.

    • Haha, I’m glad it worked for you. I didn’t realize until reading y’all’s comments that my narrator hadn’t made a reference to himself until the very end. Classic case to being too close to see the piece! Glad you enjoyed it.

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  9. Everything was right with the voice, including the last line. I had trouble navigating the POV, felt like a shift, even if it wasn’t.


  10. These are so interesting to read, Stephanie, to see the differences side-by-side.

  11. AHHHHHH. Your last lines are so poignant. Died a little for him/her.

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