Present: Rebecca, Jen, Terry, Katelin
Rebecca – The Cheese Logue – Outline
Katelin and Terry thought the relationship sounded a little one sided and negative for the first two chapters. Suggestion: show how you both influence each other early, in the first two chapters. In chapter four, the word “policing” sounds negative. Instead of policing each other, turn it into both of you policing the something together. Be careful of word choice; use positive words to sound positive. In later chapters, close the conflict about Isaiah’s discomfort in crowds by adding a character arc of you letting him be himself – both of you accept each other the way you are, and let each other be
Terry – The Great Tome – Chapter 11, second half
Katelin liked the emotion in the scene where Rachel finds the Tome again. Jen didn’t believe Rachel’s sincerity when she questioned herself about doing the wrong thing. Rachel could have more hesitation before she picks up the Tome again. Draw out the scene more. Rebecca thought Rachel would have a greater instinct to hide what she’s doing with the Tome, since she knows it’s wrong somehow. But when she decides to use it again, she should feel happy in some way. Katelin liked the end where Rachel and Doug connect over their pain again.
August 28: Kat Wagner – Revolution, Chapter 2?, Jen Wilcher – The Hogoshiro Chronicles, Chapter 2?, Rebecca Rettenmund – The Cheese Logue, Chapter 10, Terry Hoffman – The Great Tome, Chapter 12
September 4: Liam Wilbur (???), Elisha McCabe (???), Judith McNeil (short story part 2, “The Man with the Broken Heart”), Lisa McDougal (chapter 5, Follow the Yellow), Pam Gabriel (film script, part 5, “Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt”), and Jerry Peterson (chapters 12-14, Rage).
September 11: Katelin Cummins – The Battle of Sista, Chapter 2
September 18: Andy Brown (chapter 2, Lo’s Quarter), Amber Boudreau (chapter 11, Noble), Millie Mader, (chapter 38, Life on Hold), Pat Edwards (???), Aaron Boehm (film script, part 4, “Stealing from Yourself”), and Jerry Peterson (chapters 15-17, Rage).
What we want in a writers group . . .
Vermont playwright/novelist David Chase recently blogged about what he wants in a writers group:
A specific or limited-interest group [where writers write] is more workshop-like. Someone reads from a current project and then sits in silence as the others discuss it. The focus should be on clarity, missing information, too much detail, stuff that has no purpose and might be cut or even problems with the story line. It’s also okay to point out the good stuff. Feedback is worth the vulnerability. If you’re new to writing, it may be one of the first places people really see you as a writer.
Make sure others know what you want them to be listening for. Your reading should be as perfect as you can make it. No first drafts. This is what I ask for:
What makes no sense at all?
Tell me what’s too long.
Do others see and hear the same things you saw and heard while you were writing it? If they don’t, you’ve missed something.
Don’t fuss over proper punctuation and grammar. Criticism and critique should be about content. The only exception to this might be when someone makes the same error consistently and you know it’s not a typo. Not that grammar and punctuation should be ignored. Both exist to facilitate the smooth translation of a string of symbols on a page into thoughts, ideas, and mental images. Proper punctuation and grammar insure clarity. Some people want to offer solutions for problem areas but uninvited suggestions seldom help. Let the writer work it out.
Great words . . .
From Word Spy Paul McFedries:
. To ride a bicycle against the flow of traffic. Also: bike salmon, salmon bike.
– salmoning, pp.
– salmon, n.
“I am not anarchic; I heed most traffic laws. I do not ride on the sidewalk (O.K., except for the final 25 feet between the curb cut and my front door, and then with caution). I do not salmon, i.e. ride against traffic.”
– Randy Cohen, If Kant Were a New York Cyclist, The New York Times, August 4, 2012
“And inevitably, many cyclists welcomed the battle, returning fire on the same terms. They paste their bikes with self-congratulatory stickers, brazenly “salmon” against oncoming traffic, flip birds and bang hoods.”
– John Barber, In the aftermath of tragedy, once more unto the breach, The Globe and Mail, November 11, 2011
“In the meantime, though, salmoning is rampant…Just this morning in fact I had a salmon encounter that incorporated so many infuriating elements I might have very well attempted to flog myself to death with my own fenders had I been palping them.
– Eben Weiss, Smoked salmon: Lock Your Bike, Don’t Lox It, Bike Snob NYC, May 13, 2009
Your e-reader is watching you . . .
Got a Kindle? Got a Nook?
A lot of people do. There are some 40 million e-readers and 65 million tablets in use in the U.S., according to analysts at Forrester Research.
And how about this? In the first quarter of 2012, says the Association of American Publishers, e-books generated $282 million in sales, compared with $230 million for adult hardcover books.
With all those e-readers and tablets and e-books out there, Amazon and Barnes & Noble are learning a lot about what you and I read. Young adult author and book biz blogger Nathan Bransford talked about it in a recent post:
For the first time ever, actual science can be derived from reading habits.
Thanks to e-books, companies like Amazon and B&N now know whether people are actually reading the e-books they buy. Better yet, they even know where in books people are leaving off, which books are most likely to be read all the way through, and the speed people are reading them.
As Mike Shatzkin points out, this is important knowledge that the e-booksellers have and publishers do not. It could be more important to know whether people finish a bestselling book than how many copies it sells. If people stop reading and start reading something else instead, it could be a sign people might not be as enthusiastic for that author’s next book. And if people read something very quickly it could be a sign of enthusiasm.
The possibilities don’t stop there. Could authors improve if they knew at which spots in their book people are dropping off?
Needless to say, this frontier is not without its controversy. Readers may not like to have their e-reading habits snooped, even if it’s done anonymously. Authors may be frustrated to be confronted with yet another backwards-looking tool that can pigeonhole them based on their past books without considering whether the new one is really good. And publishers may be frustrated that Amazon and the other e-booksellers possesses this competitive advantage.
I’m excited to have any new insight available, provided this information is made available to authors. It hardly seems fair if this information is hoarded by the e-booksllers if it’s being used to make decisions about whether and how an author is signed or promoted. And, of course, care must be taken to ensure that reader privacy is protected.
What about you? Would you want to know where people are leaving off in your book? Is this new technology exciting or intrusive?
More on e-reader research . . .
Alexandra Alter, writing in the July 19 edition of the Wall Street Journal, examined what researchers are doing with the data from e-readers they are getting on what you and I read. Here the link to her story: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304870304577490950051438304.html?mod=WSJ_Tech_RIGHTTopCarousel_1
Paste it into your browser, click on it, and read.