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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
May 18, 2018

We came out …

Ten TWS writers met Tuesday night to consider six pieces of work.

Mike Austin (prologue, Backroads)

Larry Sommers (chapters 8-9, The Boat Builder’s Daughter)

Kashmira Sheth and Amit Trivedi (chapter 21)

Meg Matenaer (Chapter 1, Write in Time)

Kashima Sheth (Middle grade mystery, first ten pages)

Amber Boudreau (chapter 1, rewrite, Avice)

 Amber read from Chapter One of her new fantasy novel based on a previous work. Larry felt there were three plot points that got lost in the ordinary of everyday tasks. A few people wouldn’t have known it was fantasy if Amber hadn’t mentioned the genre as there is nothing in the first chapter to indicate it as such. Kashmira recommended taking all of this advice and holding onto it until the novel is finished and then rewriting it after.

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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
May 4, 2018

NO ICE OR SNOW! So we came out …

Ten TWS writers, plus new member, Meg Matenaer, struggled to find tables, chairs and space Tuesday night. Undaunted, they buckled down to consider the works of six of their colleagues. First item on the agenda, wishing Jerry and Larry speedy recoveries. You were missed. Also missed, Pat, who left for Arizona this week. Best wishes to her.

Millie Mader (poem, final draft, “A Broken Bridge”):

Bob Kralapp (Poem):

Jack Freiburger (chapters 4-5, A Walk Upon the Water):

Kashmira Sheth and Amit Trivedi (chapter 1, rewrite):

John Schneller (chapter 21, Final Stronghold): Suggestions for the chapter included, minimize ellipses, work on clarity where Kotel is moving through hills and valleys, reminders of what garogs look like, and the continuing efforts to make clear when mindspeak vs thoughts are being used in communication.  Thanks.

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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
April 20, 2018

We came out

Rain, sleet, and snow kept us away two weeks ago, but 11 TWS writers and old hand Lisa McDougal braved the cold Tuesday evening to consider the works of six of their colleagues.

Millie Mader (chapter, Stone Cold Stripper):

Paul Wagner (short story, part 1 rewrite, “Mad Jack”): Just wanted to say I’m taking all the suggestions given to heart and am trying to put them into the revised work. Gonna be busy this weekend.

Kashmira Sheth and Amit Trivedi (chapter 22):

  1. Need to remove words like ‘He wondered’, ‘He thought’ etc.
  2. Tracy liked the part with the ‘key and house.’
  3. Jack suggested to move the first paragraph to the previous chapter of have some sort of transition between first and second para of chapter 22. Thanks!

Jack Freiburger (chapters 2-3, A Walk on the Water): Comments on Walk Upon the Water more positive than I expected as these chapters are not part of the “ripping yarn” section. Seems our troubled and troublesome anti-hero/unreliable narrator is not unlikeable. Will shorten Cousins by a few lines based on advice and the usual typos. Many thanks. Continue Reading »

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
April 5, 2018

We stayed home

Rain, sleet, and snow made Tuesday evening a good evening to stay home, so we did. Canceled our meeting at Barnes & Noble Westside. We will be back there in two weeks. Everyone who was to be up Tuesday evening shifts to April 17.  Continue Reading »

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
March 23, 2018

Tuesday evening at B&N West side

A dozen writers, including new member Deb Cleveland, gathered around the tables to review theworks of six of their colleagues. Here’s some of what was said:

Larry Sommers (chapter 10, untitled novel)
Read from Chapter 10 of my immigrant saga, now tentatively titled The Boat-builder’s Daughter and the Schoolmaster’s Son. Both Jerry and Tracey zeroed in on lack of explanation as to why Maria’s letter home to Norway had to be sent. Jerry wondered how Maria, out in her frontier cabin, would know when it was 4 am and time to get up for her job at the Petersburg Hotel; I didn’t have an immediate answer to that. And there was no setup for the change in personnel staffing that hotel job from Maria to Anne, leading the reader to wonder if it was just a typo. Pat, Tracey and others thought there might be a better way to finesse the difference in identities between the two similar-but- not-the- same Norwegian chambermaids. And there was some general concern about the technique of narrating the most exciting part of the chapter, the confrontation with the slave-catchers, indirectly through the ex-post facto dialog of the participants. Good comments, all. Much to think about.

ALSO: I presented some early portions of my manuscript to the Downtown Rotary Genealogy and Family History Fellowship today at 1:10 pm at the Park Hotel. About a dozen people were there and received it very kindly. It then formed part of a general discussion about the uses of family history and the ways to approach it. Several of those present signed up for e-mail notification when the book is scheduled for publication. It was a lot of fun. Continue Reading »

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
March 9, 2018

Welcome home

Nine writers noshed on Thin Mints provided by Tracey, Tuesday evening, while critiquing the works of seven of their colleagues. Here’s some of what was said:

Millie Mader (chapter rewrite, Stone Cold Stripper
Paul Wagner (short story rewrite, “Mad Jack”) . . .
John Schneller (chapter 20, Final Stronghold) – Jerry pointed out several details that were implausible and can be corrected simply. Tracy pointed out that Kotel’s goal has been unclear to her and makes the story one fight after the other without a reason to read on. As the author could not verbalize this clearly in the story or the elevator summary, it provided the impetus to think this through and make it clear.  Valuable at this point!! thanks. 
Kashmira Sheth and Amit Trivedi (chapter 18-19, untitled novel) – Larry wondered if ‘class conflict’ was developing as Kedar is living with to the Maldharies whereas Uma moves in elite circle. John asked why Kedar wants to wait to see Uma. The writers need to explain the cultural aspect of the situation.
Bob Kralapp (short short story, “The Quality of Mercy”) . . .
Tracey Gemmell (chapters 4-6, Accidentally Fine) – The group enjoyed the relationship between Cassie and Isabella. The scene in the clothes shop provided comedic relief from the rage and resentment, while showing the beginnings of Cassie’s transformation. Larry likened the scene to the dressing of a toreador. Tracey needs to be carefully she doesn’t make Cassie too maudlin for too long. John cautioned on making Cassie overly whinny about post-divorce life or she could become unlikeable. Many thanks for all your diligent help. Continue Reading »

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
February 23, 2018

 

Eleven writers gathered at B&N Westside Tuesday evening to work through three chapters and one short story of their colleagues. Here’s some of what was said:

John Schneller (chapter 19, Final Stronghold) . . . Great suggestions were raised about drooling words, pollinating monstrosities . . . and a few other of my creative word choices. Also, a paragraph was unclear as to who is thinking confused thoughts (other than the reader). The consensus was to end the chapter at the scene break and switch to the second storyline, allowing the reader to question or believe that Kotel has been killed. This will work well as even when the protagonist is found to live through this attack, there are other important characters that are gonna die soon. Thanks for the input.

Mike Austin (chapter 27, Riding with the Reed Gang) . . . Using the first person narrative for Nick, instead of the third person I’ve been using, was received well. John Schneller suggested that if the cook brought food out to “old Willis’s” shack when Nick was hiding behind it, it could add tension to Nick’s situation. Kashmira suggested that the scene where Nick is looking at the stuffed bear is a good place for some introspection for him. Everyone agreed that the scene of Ned rolling Ben into the lake needs to be more clear. I also need to work on giving Nick more of a unique personality so that he doesn’t sound like the earlier character, Edgar. Thanks everyone for all the helpful comments!
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