I wrote this snippet of backstory for my character, Rebecca. It may never be in the final draft, but writing a short scene helps me deepen my characters. After I wrote my rough draft, I put this piece into the The Hemingway Editor. This editor highlights adverbs, confusing sentences and when you used the passive voice. I found it very helpful.
Glass shattered. Rebecca startled awake. They’re fighting again. She looked over at her bedside clock. It was 1:57 am. She heard the sound of angry voices from the kitchen, but couldn’t understand what her parents were saying. Rebecca gripped her pink sheets and turned to her five-year old sister, who was curled up on the other side of the bed.
“Amelia, are you awake?” she whispered.
“Yes.” Amelia whimpered.
Rebecca moved closer to her sister and snuggled her close to her body. “It’ll be OK.” Rebecca said soothingly, though her eyes burned and her lip quivered. Amelia sniffled. I hate that it has to be this way.
Rebecca heard more incoherent yelling and a feminine scream followed by a loud crashing noise. Why does she let him treat her that way? Rebecca was used to nights like these. When she was younger she used to cry as her parents fought, but now she only cowered, berating herself for not being stronger, for not defending her mother. But, what can I do? He’ll just beat me if I try to stop him. A door slammed shut. Then a car started and sped away. Rebecca hugged Amelia tighter. The house was silent for a moment. Then Rebecca heard the hum of the T.V and her mother’s stifled sobs.