Week of April 8, 2014
April editor . . .
Andy Pfeiffer is Writers Mail editor for this month. Got news or got feature stuff or something you’ve found on the net that will help writers? Send it to Andy.
Minutes from Tuesday . . .
We had a good turnout Tuesday at the bookstore and welcomed guest Hanna Ruoho. Kristin Oakley had printed copies of her novel, Carpe Diem, Illinois, in hand, and we had a lively discussion about the Writer’s Institute recently held through the UW Extension. Kristin and Holly have promised to write up some words of wisdom for future newsletters.
Diving into the critiques we started with Katelin Cummin’s short piece, “Treasure.” Kristin felt there was some confusion regarding the point of view of the main character – had she experienced date rape or a one night stand? Terry did point out that the woman might be confusing the two in her own mind simply because the concept of rape is too much to bear. Deb, however, points out that Richard very specifically says this is happening because she didn’t say “yes.” In order to strengthen the story within such a tight word count, Holly suggested culling out many of the actions – only leave in those that are most important. Andy felt the opening was very effective and the reader didn’t need much more information about what was going on. Carol was looking for a stronger punch at the end.
Ruth Imhoff read a new chapter of Motto of the Hound. Katelin liked the description of the shop and Holly loved the charms. Terry suggested dropping a charm in his pocket. The character’s name, Blackfan, is used an awful lot, though, and the word “light” pops up quite often, too (which is a bit odd, considering how dark the shop is). Holly pointed out a few cliches, and there was confusion regarding how Blackfan knew there was someone in the basement. Maybe a sound tips him off? Move the swinging lightbulb earlier in the scene – that would help, too.
Carol Hornung brought in a scene from Ghost of Heffron College. Terry felt that Kyle should be more interested in finding out what Travis said to Autumn. Holly felt Autumn gave up too quickly with her accusations against Kyle. Kristin pointed out that she’s accusing him of something, but what, specifically? Could be more there. Hanna said the line referring to Kyle as being “nothing special” kind of clashes with reality – he does stand out from others. Kristin wondered about the internal monolog – would a guy really think this much about what’s going on as the conversation is happening? Andy, representing the Y chromosome at the meeting, suggested that yes, a reasonably introspective guy – perhaps a timid one, too – would be thinking a lot in this way.
-Thanks Carol for the notes (more…)