Tuesdays with Story
Creepy, mystery, and action defined the night at the bookstore on Tuesday. We were joined by newcomer Erin Syth.
Unfortunately, Jen and Rebecca were unable to present their notes from the workshop they attended, as Rebecca had a work commitment. Oh well, there’s always next time!
Ray Woodruff brought in the short story “Locked Inside.” Andy thought it was a little difficult to get into at first, but he liked it. Jen had some trouble with the point of view changing – Dustin seemed to be the main character, but not always. Holly noted an abuse of the word “just,” being used just 27 times over six pages. Katelin liked the age-specific details. We all thought it was delightfully creepy and Carol found the ending to work well. She was a little confused about the time period, feeling as though she’d fallen into a Stephen King story with his kids in the 1950s, but other details suggested a more modern time.
Ruth Imhoff read Chapter 2 of Motto of the Hound. Andy wondered why the morgue was in the police station, and Carol agreed that it was unusual, but that Ruth needed to create a reason WHY the morgue is in the police station. Holly pointed out the danger of cliche involving cops and donuts. Ray liked the line about looking “at him as if he’d grown two heads.” He also sensed we had been close to an important reveal, but dodged it, and thought the autopsy should be longer and more detailed. Jen suggested showing more body language and Carol wanted more character specific details – what did their desks look like? Who drank what kind of coffee? Erin said that the names in the dialog tags appeared an awful lot. Giving them details/things to do would lessen that a bit. Holly wanted more interrupting and realism in the conversations, because she felt it was too polite. Jen reminded Ruth that the road to Hell is paved with adverbs. Carol said Ruth overused the word “well.” Overall, people liked this more than Ruth’s Chapter 1.
Andy Pfeiffer presented the opening of his script for “Tomato Republic.” Jen picked up that the characters were in a virtual reality game, which was indeed the case. But why did Tristan use the gun as a sword when he could have easily shot his opponent instead? Holly got lost in the action, felt that it went on too long without developing the main conflict of the story. Ruth was thrown by the Tomato Corporation references in the dialog – they didn’t seem to fit. Carol liked the energy, but also agreed it went on too long and by nine minutes into a movie, even an action movie, the audience needs to be let in on what the rest of the story will be about.
Carol closed the show with scene 6, part one of The Ghost of Heffron College. Jen thought it was too wordy in spots. Katelin picked up on the foreshadowing in Kyle’s past but is getting frustrated, wanting more specifics now. Erin thought more detail could be added along with the hint of his troubled past, perhaps by Autumn asking about it. Ray liked several details and descriptions, especially of the chapel. Ruth and Holly liked seeing thoughts inside of Kyle’s head. Overall, once again, good job Carol!
Who’s up next . . .
June 18: Lisa McDougal (special poem), Ruth Imhoff (chapter 3, Motto of the Hound), Rebecca Rettenmund (chapter, The Cheese Logue), Millie Mader (chapter 45, Life on Hold), Andy Pfeiffer (TBD), Aaron Boehm (film script/part 7, Whole Again), and Jerry Peterson (chapter 16-19, The Last Good Man).
June 25: Ruth Imhoff (chapter 4, Motto of the Hound), Carol Hornung (The Ghost of Heffron College, Scene 6, part 2), Erin Syth (short story), Jen Wilcher and Rebecca Rettenmund (report from Writers Institute).
July 2: Lisa McDougal (chapter, Tebow Secret Family), Michelle Nightoak (chapter, memoir), Bob Kralapp (???), Amber Boudreau (chapter 14, Noble), Alicia Connolly Lohr (novella, chapters 9-10, Lincoln’s Other War), and Jerry Peterson (chapters 20-22 and 23-24, The Last Good Man).