47-Final Message by Becky Crookham

  • : contemporary fiction. Also: mystery, family drama, alternate history.


  1. Maria Johnson

    Good job, Maisie. I can’t imagine a harder conversation to have with anyone, much less going to do it in person. She was brave, and I like that you put in that she was the family spokesperson for this. She had to complete her task because the family was counting on her to do so.

    I did notice a couple of changes in character perspective in this scene, switching to Diane’s thoughts. You might want to show her gestures as a way to convey her thinking, or you can tell us that Maisie saw Diane’s face tighten and knew Diane was angry (or any other emotion).

    Now that we’ve got the voting done and the person to person meeting with Diane and Frank, let’s go find out about this body! I can’t wait to see how this ends. 🙂

    1. Becky Post author

      Hi Maria,
      I’ll fix that POV hopping, thanks for the suggestion. Hope the ending is adequate: I feel like I may have bitten off more than I can chew with the proposed cold-case-murder. Eek.

  2. SM

    Hi Becky,
    It feels like things are coming to a head. I do agree that the head hopping is a little disorienting. However, the description of the sisters in the living room, all sort of dancing around their mother’s discomfort and especially of Uncle Frank and Aunt Dianne–were really good. The cookies in the corners of his mouth, the hand squeeze, the look on Frank’s face–it was all easy to picture and added to the balance of the story. You show how finding out the truth can cost a lot and can hurt people in the process, especially if Maisie is not careful.
    Excellent idea for a scene.

    1. Becky Post author

      Thanks Sudha! I’ll fix that POV hopping (should be just Maisie), and keep the bits that you thought worked well.

  3. Deryn

    Hi Becky – I agree with Ben that given Maisie’s discomfort with the phone and the gravity of what she wants to present to dianne that she would go in person to visit her aunt and uncle and it read really well as it is. Agree re the head hopping moment – it jumped out at me – amazing what we’ve learnt along the way this year – but you can re write that in a tone of voice or body language and show us her reaction. Great work.

    1. Becky Post author

      Hi Deryn, good idea about the POV fix. Dianne can react in such a way that Maisie can reflect on it. I agree, we have learned a lot, haven’t we? Thanks for reading/commenting!

  4. Ben Hunt

    Hi Becky, this scene flows very well, both in the family dialogue and the scene at Frank and Dianne’s house. As a counter-balance, I didn’t feel the same way as Susanne about the visit, in fact, quite the opposite. I was glad that Maisie went to visit them rather than call them. This is a big conversation to have with someone, potentially implying they were complicit in someone’s disappearance so, to me, it wouldn’t feel appropriate to be done over the phone. Additionally, the crumbs and the visuals of Frank between them were so good, you have to keep Maisie there in person.
    I did spot the POV thing too, however, when you took us into Dianne’s head. That’s something that I’m going to have to look at in my story too. It’s so tricky sometimes as it’s vital information but not always something the characters might want to voice out loud.
    My final comment might be just me, so please feel free to ignore it, but I did wonder at Dianne’s reaction. Maisie is implying that Frank might have done something that could create a lot of issues for them, especially if Maisie is about to shop him to the police, so I was a little surprised by how gracefully and calmly Dianne was taking this. As I said, it could just be me but I would have expected Frank’s wife to be a little more defensive and protective of him. Just a thought but it’s a great scene and the story is moving along towards those answers we are so looking forward to finding out. Congratulations 🙂 xx

    1. Becky Post author

      Thanks, Ben! Yes, I do need to fix that POV jump, and I do need to work on Dianne’s reaction. I feel like I may have bitten off more than I can chew with the proposed cold-case-murder. Eek.

      1. Ben Hunt

        Don’t worry, I think we all feel the same at this point. I’m finding the whole drugs situation so hard to unfold properly too.
        You can totally handle this, just get the scenes written, you’ve got this! 🙂

  5. Susanne

    Hi Becky, in these two scenes we see how Maisie successfully communicates with her family and manages potential conflict. I think that’s important that we see her like this.
    In the first scene I also liked how you handled the topic of Dad having had a serious girlfriend before Mom. Eleanor,a s the oldest, had to ask that question. I just wondered why she, being the oldest, didn’t add “How come I never knew about this?”It’s so relatable that Mom defelcts the question. This creates suspense till the end (or even a possible part 2 of the story).
    In the second scene I was a bit surprised to find out Maisie hadn’t called Dianne but visited her. For me, this would have been easier to understand if you had changd the first sentence like this “Maisie once again found herself reconciling her apple-kitchen memory with the reality of Dianne’s small condo, which she entered. ” Just a thought. Wait for the others, maybe that’s just me reading too quickly.
    I have read some wonderful phrases in this, like Dianne being able to brush away crumbs but not the uneasiness. This is so poetic! Whatever you do in the rewrite: do not touch that sentence, please 😉
    One thing I noticed: when they’re talking about the deer, do you mean to be in Dianne’s head? I thought you were writing in 3rd person attached (to Maisie) and that’s why it struck me as unusual. Did I get your POV wrong?
    All in all, two great scenes and I wonder if Frank does react next week….

    1. Becky Post author

      Hi Susanne,
      thank you thank you thank you!
      I agree, that is a good question for Eleanor to be asking–noted for the rewrite!
      I had originally written the scene as Maisie calling Dianne–which approach do you like better? I think you just mean I have to fix the wording to make it more clear that this was a visit and not a phone call, but just wondering your opinion 🙂
      Need to change that POV jump, thanks for pointing it out. Yes, I’m intending to stay in Maisie’s head.

      1. Susanne

        Hi Becky, yes, I had meant to just to change the wording and make the visit clearer. I think it would be more in Maisie‘s character to visit. I think I remember her saying that she‘s not that good on the phone…also, she notices things you wouldn‘t notice when you call. I think I‘d stick to the visit. Hope that helps. 😊