Today is #sixsunday where writers share six sentences from their work. 

NEWS: MUST LOVE BREECHES finaled in Utah’s Heart of the West contest over the weekend!

Also, I will not be around next Sunday as I’ll be in Atlanta for Dragon*Con. Hopefully. Tropical Storm Isaac is making this iffy (I live in Mobile which is inside the warning cone). If I’m not, it’ll mean it’s hit us and I probably won’t have power, so will miss y’all anyway! I’m going to try and visit everyone in the early a.m., as I need to spend most of today preparing for possible Hurricane Isaac. Keep everyone on the Gulf Coast in your prayers this coming week…

Today’s Six Sunday is from STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY, my steampunk romance set in Mobile, AL. This skips to the next chapter, when everyone, including the new boarder Dr. Rawley, is sitting down to dinner. They’ve been eating and talking away for a bit when this happens (Robert is the heroine’s brother):

A metal clanking noise sounded in the hall, and Walter, their automaton butler pushed through the double doors.

“Breakfast is served,” its tinny but serious voice incorrectly intoned.

Her mother groaned. “Robert, can you please see to Walter? This is getting old.”

Robert stood quickly.

As always I welcome constructive feedback. I’m not sure I have the timing down right to make it clear what the butler did wrong, so any suggestions for improvement is welcome! Thank you!

To see snippets from others who are participating or to sign up yourself, visit here.

Thank you to everyone who comes by and comments each week! 

  1. An automaton butler, I really need to get one of those. Does it wash dishes and vacuum? Congrats on the contest, that’s a fantastic achievement. Have fun at Dragon-con. Good luck with the storm.

  2. Congrats on the final – that’s awesome, and I hope the storm swerves away from you!
    One thing – should the butler be referred to as “he” rather than “it,” as he’s called Walter? Not incorrect by any means, just a thought x

  3. Congrats on your final, Angela. You’re really racking them up. Now to your six – great fun, as usual and I completely got Walter’s error. I do have a suggestion: perhaps change “intoned” to “announced.” That way, it might be clearer that his announcement was incorrect. You tell us in the lead-in that they’re sitting down to dinner, so as long as that’s clear and not too far removed from this exchange, then the joke should work.

  4. You always nail these scenes, Angela. The dialogue works well and the characters are fun. I agree with Kate’s suggestion of using Water’s announcement closer to the mention of dinner so his mistake comes through right away. Other than that, it’s terrific and great fun! Stay safe, hope the storm misses! Congrats on the contest win!

  5. Monica Enderle Pierce

    I think, out of context, this may be confusing, but within the scene the reader will know they’re eating dinner, so the error should be clear. (And I love the mother’s voice, but maybe a gesture to show her disgust/dispair?)

    And congrats! You’re just raking in the awards this year!

  6. Congrats on another final for Must Love Breeches. You just keep racking up the accolades! Also, stay safe down there. I have a friend in southern Alabama and another in Florida. Keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Regarding the six, I didn’t immediately pick up on the breakfast reference (as opposed to dinner) but more than likely I would have, had I read this within the context of the surrounding scene. I’m not sure you need to correct anything. In the flow of the story and the scene, it probably works fine.

  7. I’m with Kate. If you said “announced” and maybe even followed it up with a little extra information, it would clear that right up. “…its tinny but serious voice incorrectly announced, the evening drawing ever nearer.” Or you know…something better, but in that fashion. :) Even having missed that being your purpose, still an excellent snippet. Congrats on BREECHES being finaled!

  8. Congrats on finaling!!

    The snippet’s a fun interlude I think, but I could tell better in context. You did tell us that the characters sat down to dinner so as long as that’s clear in the story, I’m sure readers will understand Walter’s mistake.

    The only thing that made me pause was the repetition of “INcorrectly INtoned” but that’s pretty minor.

    Stay safe. You know I’ll be praying for you and everybody in Isaac’s way.

  9. I’ll admit I had to read replies before I understood what the butler did wrong. But..I’ve always been on the slow side, getting things like that. I probably would have gotten it sooner or later. lol Great six.

  10. Be safe! You should have a plan in place in case Isaac hits. Poor Walter the butler. ): They’re not going to… ya know… sell him for scrapes? God no! >> Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. It’s all food. LOL!

  11. I’m with the rest, if you’ve set it up in the previous lines then it’ll be fine. If you’re worried you could always pop ‘…interrupting their evening meal.’ At the end of a sentence to make it obvious. Have a great time at the convention! Great 6!

  12. Congrats on being a finalist again! You are doing so great! And I’ve got my fingers crossed that Isaac misses you. We got walloped by Irene this time last year, and it was not at all fun. :( I think this is a fun six, and I think Walter’s faux pas will be clearer when the whole scene is being read, since they’ll be eating dinner and THEN he comes in and announces breakfast. LOL

  13. Yeah, you might want to revisit that bit. I had to reread the earlier text to see she was eating dinner. Maybe mentioning what she’s eating would make it clearer. Congratulations on the contest and hold on if Isaac gets too close.

  14. Yeah for more love for Must Love Breeches!! :) Congratulations. Love the mixed up robot, Personally, I get more my days mixed up, than time of day, but I know how it feels, lol. You made me smile on a very tired Monday morning after a marathon family/friend party here yesterday. Thank You :)

  15. This is nice. I’d like to see more so I can get more of a feeling for the scene, but nicely done overall. I hope Isaac doesn’t do any damage to you either. I live near Tampa, so I’m feeling the effects. Have fun in Atlanta.

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