Weekend Writing Warriors: The Anti-Cupids (The Second Bridesmaid)

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So . . . if Dennis is the other groomsman, then there must be another bridesmaid.  Right?




Viv was just getting back into the glamorous world of CFTR chloride channels, when her phone rang again.  “Viv Mitchell,” she said, glad of the reprieve.

Until a voice said, “I hope you’re happy.”


“I have a heartbroken fifteen-year old who’s locked herself in her room and refuses to come out because you forgot to tell her that the cake tasting was rescheduled,  and now she says she won’t be in the wedding at all and we’ve already paid for the dress and half the alterations and the shoes—

“I’m sorry, but I didn’t know about it until the last minute myself, when Mom called—she said she was going to call you.”

“She did, but I had my phone shut off for my dentist’s appointment.”

“Then why are you yelling at me?” Viv asked, wondering why she couldn’t last ten seconds on the phone with Ellie without breaking into sympathetic emphasis.


In my outline, notes, and sample scenes, the second bridesmaid is called the “jailbait cousin” and is referred and reacted to,  but never actually seen by the reader, like the good little running joke she was.

But the name started to sound a little too snarky, even for me, and it seemed unrealistic that she never showed up pre-wedding.  Plus, I wanted Viv to suffer just a little bit more, and if there’s anything more annoying than Viv’s sister—aside from not-Renee, who was meant to be Jack’s headache, anyway— then it’s a teenage Kirsten-in-training.

Who does have a real name now.

(I have a friend who hates italics with a passion, and I could hear her objections in my mind’s ear as I wrote this entire scene, so Ellie’s speech patterns are lovingly dedicated to her.)


42 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors: The Anti-Cupids (The Second Bridesmaid)

  1. “…sympathetic emphasis.” LOL Great line! (Fifteen year old acting like a spoiled brat needs to be turned over someone’s knee. Oh, wait… wrong genre…)

    • Yes, and, unfortunately, yes.

      There’s a bit in here somewhere—not sure I kept it in—about her throwing a fit over being a ‘junior’ bridesmaid . . .

  2. I snickered a little at “sympathetic emphasis”–mainly because I know tend to pick up speech patterns around certain people. Nice snippet & I dig peeking behind your curtain too. 🙂

    • I’m an accent chameleon, too, Charley. I can’t talk to people from Texas without picking up their accents—and I left Lubbock when I was three, so there’s no excuse. 🙂

      And thanks! 🙂

    • You aren’t kidding, Cara. I won’t have a teenager in the house for two years, and I’m already issuing Oscars . . . and Razzies. 😀

    • She hears you, Mike, but she’s stuck.

      This is the problem with being efficient (I assume from observation). People expect stuff . . . But she’ll get her own back after the wedding. Eventually. 🙂

    • Thanks, Shannyn! 🙂

      Blood is thicker than water, but family is sticker than duct tape. Or something. Still working on that one. 🙂

  3. I think it’s time for the bride to step up and mollify her bridesmaids. Great snippet, Sarah. 🙂

  4. Poor Viv. Will you send her out for cocktails for me. And, have someone else pay for them? Oh, and maybe give her a winning lotto ticket too. That girl needs something nice to happen : )

    • It’s from direct observation, Charmaine, believe me. 😀

      The bride won’t elope, as long as she has Viv to do the dirty work for her, but I agree!


  5. Poor Viv! Very realistic dialog and I think the junior bridesmaid is going to be quite a pain. Love this story, can’t wait for more! Wonderful excerpt!

  6. And her parents are going to let her get away with this behavior, after all that expense? I’d expect them to force her, sulking and pouting, to do what she promised. Responsibility and all that.

    I guess Viv’s getting yelled at because she’s the safer one to scold–even if it isn’t her fault. Poor Viv!

    • Unfortunately, we still have to get through it around here, Karen! And once our first kid is done, the next one will start.

      Sigh . . .

  7. Love the teen-age spoiled brat drama, it seems the only one who gets blamed is the only one to ever be able to handle responsibility. Poor Viv.
    Although I certainly seem to be in the minority, the term “sympathetic emphasis” didn’t seem natural to me, hyperventilating yes, but not the other. I think though that her reaction is perfect.

    • If you want something done, ask a busy person—or whine at her. 😀

      Thanks for the suggestion, Chelle—I’m not married to ‘sympathetic emphasis’ or anything. 🙂

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