Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
September 7, 2018

 

Our Tuesday evening collect

Ten of your colleagues gathered around the tables – yes, we had tables! – on B&N’s bargain floor Tuesday evening. Here’s some of what was said in the critiques:

Paul Wagner (part 1 rewrite, “Mad Jack”) . . .

John Schneller (chapter 29, Final Stronghold) . . . A great deal of discussion was generated over a dirty rock. While the author limped away from the stoning, he did resolve to make things more clear to the reader instead of explaining himself to the critiquers. Thanks for the input. I think I figured out a way to develop the scene which will make the rock more useful when it shows up again later. The other concerns about the cashbox dynamics also need clarity, but doggone it, the description of the jail cell will  …..o heck, that will probably go also.  Thanks for the comments!  Continue Reading »

Advertisements

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
August 24, 2018

Neither storm nor flood could keep us away

Just washed the roads clean on the west side of Madison for those of us who had to drive them to get to Barnes & Noble, Tuesday evening. Ten writers came in to critique the work of six of our colleagues. Here’s some of what was said:

Lisa McDougal (chapters 2-3, The Tebow Family Secret):  It was suggested that I start Chapter 3 with Ahna’s speech. Tracey suggested removing the word “just” in a sentence to avoid coming off offensive. Jerry suggested not using “childhood friend” to describe Ahna’s childhood friend. Cindi suggested cutting a particular sentence short to make it more effective for a character.

Bob Kralapp (poem, rewrite, “Postcard from London”):

Meg Matenaer (chapters 1-2, Write in Time):

Cindi Dyke (excerpt, The Mansion Secrets): The two main characters were introduced through two brief excerpts, and a portion of Chapter 6 presented. Amber questioned if the story should be coming from Wart instead of Michael since Wart is the more colorful character of the two. Jerry suggested that more diversity in the main characters would increase marketability. There are two other essential characters appearing in the beginning of the book that have not been presented to the group yet: A female classmate and a 40-ish man with savant syndrome. Meg liked the authenticity of the dialogue and actions of Michael and Wart, saying they sounded like her 9 yr old son. All comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you! Continue Reading »

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
August 10, 2018

Tuesday eve at ye olde book shoppe

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

Kashmira Sheth (chapters 4-5a, Surya’s Story): Kashmira submitted more chapters from her MG novel. There were some spelling and word choice concerns that Tracey and Jerry pointed out. Jack wanted some tightening to make sure Surya’s fear and desperation came through. There were discussions about the lemon grass, step-well, python etc. Overall, everyone like the story.

Lisa McDougal (chapter 01, The Tebow Family Secret): Tracey suggested that the intro be told in first person. Bob said that the intro could be told in the 3rd if done more creatively. Jerry questioned if a billionaire would come home and get soda himself. Millie and Tracey gave suggestions on a new name for one of the characters. “Dotty” was the winning name. Larry and Jerry had questions/suggestions about the key code lock for the wine cellar. Continue Reading »

Writer’s Mail

Tuesdays With Story
Fifth Tuesday stories
July 31, 2018

 

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.

200 words max.

Children’s Author Strikes Again

Lisa McDougal

Monsters in my Soup

By Millie Mader

Monkey-Man Publishing, 2013

220 pages

Retail: $8.49

Smell the soup and it’ll make you hungry. Eat the soup and it’ll make you a monster. Monsters in my Soup is a terrifying children tale about the perils of eating soup. This isn’t your grandma’s special chicken noodle soup. Also, this isn’t your grandma. When monsters invade the little town of Safe Haven, Connecticut, posing as grandmothers aiming to enslave children by feeding them their special soup. Can our heroes, Blake, Jake, and Cake, stop them in time before they get so hungry that they eat the soup?

Millie Mader is the author of the children’s books, Creatures in my Teachers and No Razzle in my Dazzle.

—Lisa McDougal, author, It’s a Crime not to Give a Child a Horse Continue Reading »

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. Continue Reading »

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 »