Is this written believably?

Penelope is abused by her dad, which started about 1 year ago. He has just slapped her for being home a few minutes after dark. Having no experience with writing or the ways of an abusive relationship I don't know whether this is a believable reaction on Penelope's part. Thank you for any feedback you can give me!

Peering first through the window to check if the room was clear, Penelope snuck inside. She tiptoed down the hall and locked herself inside the bathroom. She turned on the taps to run a bath. The room began to fill with smoke and the sound of running water. Now that she was sure no one would hear her, she crumpled to the floor and began to cry. Her whole body shook with every sob. She hugged her knees to her chest and hid her face in her hands. Then she remembered the bath, which was nearly overflowing and leant over to turn it off. She dragged herself across the floor, her limbs flaring up with the pain of his abuse. Gripping the edge of the bathroom sink, she pulled herself up. She met her eyes in the mirror and saw her cheek was a deep purple bruise. She blinked back more tears which threatened to overflow much like the bath. She tugged off her dress, wincing as it caught the cuts and bruises that plagued her body. Standing in front of the mirror in her cotton undies her twelve-year-old body was barely recognizable under the absurd colouring her father’s beatings had left her with. She had a young girl’s figure and a child’s knobbly knees but her face and body showed more pain than adults five times her age had seen. Turning away from the ugly image before her she crossed the room and sunk into the bath. The warm water stung but soon offered relief. She sat there for what seemed like hours, but in reality was only a few minutes, staring at the bright white-tiled wall in front of her. Everything in the bathroom was so neat and tidy. Everything had its place, from the soap to the handtowel. You never would have guessed the owner of this bathroom was so out of control.


Good point but nobody notices because her house is miles away from anyone elses. She doesn't have any friends at school, but that doesn't matter because her father hardly ever lets her go. He makes her stay home and take care of her baby brother. She wears long sleeves to hide the marks.

Update 2:

She wasn't beaten inside the house. Sorry if that was unclear. She was reading down near the river behind her house when her dad yelled from the back gate for her to come inside. He met her at the back gate scolded her, slapped her and then walked inside. Penelope followed him in later, as she wanted to avoid him, not giving his the satisfaction of seeing her eyes brimming with tears.

Update 3:

Lolita - Thanks for that. Whoops. It was a typo and should say steam.

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I have never been physically abused either, so I wouldn't know.

    One of the most important maxims for a writer is to write what you know, meaning that even if you have never been physically abused, you should research real experiences of real people to help you write something realistic and believable. Imagination can only get you so far with storylines like this, and extrapolating from movies or tv shows is not a good idea. Writing about such a serious and emotive issue as abuse of any sort, without an intimate knowledge of it, might leave real sufferers feeling somewhat offended.

    By the way, hot water from a running tap produces steam, not smoke.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Excellent... well written!

    I would take out this part or move to toward the end of the passage "her limbs flaring up with the pain of his abuse." You have a slow build going up to describing the actual wounds, and this part sort of gives away too much info too fast.

    And as others have said, it's steam, not smoke.

  • TaDaa!
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Yes, it does seem believable. I do wonder though, if her dad beat her inside the house, what the heck was she doing outside? That is unless after he beat her, he kicked her out of the house. And that is why she had to sneak back in again.

    I assumed she was beaten inside the house because in your first paragraph, you stated that "He has just slapped her for being home a few minutes after dark." Thank you for clarifying that she was beaten outside.

  • 1 decade ago

    I really liked it. It was pretty sophisticated. One of the best pieces of writing that I've read on here. Yes, actually. My family and I being survivors of child abuse, I think that this would be a realistic reaction.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    wow that was AMAZING super awesomely good at first i thought it was real then i read the top. you should become a writer i would buy ur books.

    it was so intense i was about to cry( even through i can't since I'm a vampire) or should i say a tearless sob

  • 1 decade ago

    Yep, I'd say that's believable. What isn't is the fact that the thousand Bella's on Yahoo have started fighting.

  • 1 decade ago

    Wow that was really good. I want to read more. Yes it seems as though she has been abused. Seriously, great job, if you ever write more, post it !

  • 1 decade ago

    hmmm. it seems a plausible reaction.

    i would suggest you do some reasearch on child abuse. or even particular cases. the more specific the better. it may also shape your story in ways you never imagined.

    overall...very good. you got something :)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    it's good. a little intense tho. wouldn't someone notice something was up if she was covered w/ bruises? i think the writing is good, but u need 2 tone down the injuries a little bit. not that it's not believable that someone would do that to their kid, but as i said....someone would notice if she was that banged up.

    good luck! u clearly have talent :)

  • 1 decade ago

    Okay so I didn't read it all, because I'm impatient right now, and don't want to read something so long a screen, but don't start so many sentences with 'she'. It gets repetitive, and to me, annoying.

    Just my advice.

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