One of my fiction projects is a YA fantasy in which a pair of sisters is pitted against each other through birth order (you can only have one heir apparent) and their personalities (some people have to really work at getting along). Suffice it to say, I’m trying to write interesting fiction so they do NOT get along even a little bit.
My POV character is the younger sister. I didn’t realize how good a job I had done in setting up their relationship until someone came up to me after a retreat critique group.
“You and your older sister must not have gotten along.”
Me: “Excuse me?”
“When I read this story, it’s just really obvious that you’re a youngest child.”
This was a huge compliment on my ability to get into my character’s head and make the reader see things her way — a way that does not coincide with my way of thinking. Why? Because I’m the oldest child and most likely a bit overbearing if you were to ask my younger sister. But I had listened to her enough to know how she thinks and feels and managed to plant this into my character.
Now, if only I could pull off that level of expertise in everything to do with my fiction.
This post is part of The Muffin‘s Everybody’s Talking About Sisterhood, a blog-celebration for the release of Therese Walsh’s novel The Moon Sisters (visit Therese’s site here and read a review of the book here).
In The Moon Sisters, her second novel, Therese Walsh wanted to write about one sister’s quest to find will-o’-the-wisp light, which was her mother’s unfulfilled dream. Also called “foolish fires”, these lights are sometimes seen over wetlands and are thought to lead those who follow them to treasure. Despite the promise, they are never captured and sometimes lead to injury or even death for adventurers who follow them. The metaphor of that fire – that some dreams and goals are impossible to reach, and that hope itself may not be innately good – eventually rooted its way into deeper meaning as the Moon sisters tried to come to terms with real-world dreams and hopes, and with each other, in their strange new world.
Olivia and Jazz Moon are polar opposites: one a dreamy synesthete, able to see sounds and smell sights and the other controlling and reality driven. What will happen when they are plunged into 24/7 togetherness and control is not an option? Will they ever be able to see the world through the other’s eyes and confront the things they fear the most? Death. Suicide. The loss of faith and hope. Will they ultimately believe that life is worth living, despite the lack of promise?
The writing of The Moon Sisters was a five year journey and at times author Therese Walsh felt like it was her own “foolish fire”. But remember, some fires are worth the chase!
To be entered to win a copy of this book, leave a comment below. One name will be chosen from each participating blog. From these names, The Muffin will choose the ultimate winner, to be announced March 18. Happy Commenting and good luck!
One thought on “Sisterhood: What I Learned Writing about Sisters”
Sisters are good fodder for fiction, don’t you think?
Best of luck with your YA Fantasy, and thanks so much for being a part of Everybody’s Talking About Sisterhood and helping to spread the word about The Moon Sisters!