The Hazard of Having Sisters

I was once (very briefly) involved with a disastrous writing group. Halfway through critiquing my protochapter, the crazy lady who headed the group said, “You know by the time you mention [Third Sister] it’s like one sister too many.” I wasn’t quite sure what to do with that advice. Murder isn’t an option. Making my sisters into composite characters might result in my own murder. And lord knows you can’t leave one out.

My nondisastrous friend S, though, had similar concerns.

S: I’m not sure about all your sisters.

Indy: You’re not sure? Think about how I feel, I have to live with them!

S and Indy laugh. S has only one sister, but she’s a handful.

S: I think you have to introduce them better. I can’t keep track.

Indy: Think about how I feel! [Any good joke is worth telling twice in my humble opinion. This may be why I have no friends.]

S: Just give us a little more of an idea of who they are and where they live, all that stuff.

This is how I found myself searching for my sisters’ names in my manuscript making sure their location and domestic situation (not to mention their obvious beauty, intelligence, and good nature [ahem, Cougar]) are properly represented.

How many sisters is too many sisters?




12 responses to “The Hazard of Having Sisters

  1. I’ve always said the only way I’ll ever get a race medal for third in my age group is if there are only TWO runners in my age group. (HA HA) I have four sisters, and that seems like about five too many.

  2. As somebody who has 5 parents, 10 grandparents, two half-brothers and a stepbrother and stepsister, having a whole slew of just “sisters” sounds downright dreamy. 😉

  3. OK, Indy. You asked. Or even, rather, you asked for it! Your readers HAVE to understand you are the LAST sister in our group of two, i mean three, I mean four sisters (the last two were less expected than the first two – of which I am one). So you obviously already sit in the probably-over-the-cut-off group. So, tread carefully!

    The answer is simple. There is no such thing as too many sisters. On the other hand, sisters in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong attitude is clearly “a thing.”

    Go for broke!

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