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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
July 20, 2018

In 10 days

It’s Fifth Tuesday!

The Trivedis will host us at their home in Madison, about a five-minute drive from Barnes & Noble Westside.

Yes, it’s a potluck, so bring some great food to share. Vegetarian, please. No meat dishes allowed this time.

And we have a writing challenge: Write a fake book blurb, a nice way to roast a fellow writer. Example: blurb Larry Sommers’ latest book, The Sommers’ System for Writing a Bestselling Novel in 30 Days.

Maximum length: 200 words

Format for your page:
(Title of book)
(Author’s name)
(Publisher and publication date)
(Number of pages)
(Retail price of book)

(Your blurb)
(Your name and at least one writing credit)

When you have your mini-masterpiece finished, email it to Jerry Peterson by Sunday evening, July 29.

Start time for our Fifth Tuesday is our usual 7 p.m.

The TWS eight

Eight writers came out Tuesday evening to critique the work of six of our colleagues. Here’s some of what was said

Millie Mader (rewrite, “Stone Cold Stripper) . . .  A lot of critiques and suggestions. Will try a larger rewrite.

Bob Kralapp (short story, “Faith”, party 2) . . .

Kashmira Sheth (chapters, Surya’s Story) . . . Kashmira submitted her middle grade novel chapters. Larry wanted some things away from the readers to build up more mystery. Jerry commented on one of the details that was not clear. Tracey mentioned that she struggled with some foreign words and wondered what can be done about it.

Jerry Peterson (short story, “The Marksmen”) . . . Big confusion over which rifles James Early’s team takes to Abilene; some rewriting will clarify that. Tracey and several others asked that the scouting-of-the-town scene be written rather than merely referred to in a later scene. Jack and others thought the news conference scene dragged. Jack suggested it would be better for Early to be taken to the hospital for treatment of his gunshot wound, that Eisenhower come there to give his thanks to Early.

John Schneller (chapter 23, Final Stronghold) . . . Tracey has battle fatigue. The series and frequency of battles has taken its toll on her as a reader. Point taken. Suggestions were made to separate the quest/struggle into different environments. Jerry pointed out a couple logistical problems to correct. Readers are finding it difficult to be grounded in individual scenes due to poor clarity of Kotel’s goals as well as the length of the saga and our editing process that takes a year to get through a third of the book.

Jack Freiburger (chapters 9-10, A Walk upon the Water) . . .

Who’s up next

August 7
Paul Wagner (???)
Mike Austin (chapters, Backroads)
Larry Sommers (chapter from new coming-of-age novel)
Kashmira Sheth and Amit Trivedi (chapters)
Meg Matenaer (???)
Amber Boudreau (chapter, Avice)
Tracey Gemmell (chapters, Lavender Wine)

Our editor

Short month for Larry Sommers. He had only this week’s edition of Writer’s Mail to shepherd. Tracey Gemmell picks up the job next month. Email her everything good you’d like her to include in the next edition.

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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays With Story
June 19, 2018

Nine of us gathered around to read and critique each other’s work.

Millie Mader read from her short story “Stone Cold Stripper.” Millie writes, “I’m going to eliminate the first chapter and the info about the founding of DNA. Will (hopefully) try to ‘tighten’ the whole thing up.”  Amber noted the following: John questioned the characters flying all the way out, getting three statements and leaving. He felt they would have asked more questions. Tracey thought the ordering had improved, but she had a few questions about verb choice. Jerry wondered about the traffic and Tracey suggested changing it to unfamiliar roads. Tracey was also looking for more suspense. Millie questioned how long a short story should be. Jerry suggests 30,000 words max. Tracey would really like to see the explanation of DNA removed. Larry thought the character’s interaction at the crime lab was too similar. Continue Reading »

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays With Story
 June 5, 2018

Eight of us gathered around to read and critique each other’s work last Tuesday.

Jack Freiburger read from A Walk upon the Water. Millie noted a character blew his nose twice and Jack admits the Irish are a sentimental bunch. Deb hopes Jack reads the audio version of the book, but he says he can’t do the accents from Maine. Millie wants to know how old one of the characters is. Larry wonders if there’s going to be a golden fleece and thought it was a good read. Deb thought the pacing was fine but wanted a little more detail about a character’s handkerchief. And Larry congratulated Jack on using a word he had to look up. Continue Reading »

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.

Continue Reading »

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.

Continue Reading »

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 »