Posts Tagged ‘Chinglish’

“A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.” ~ Charles Peguy

Tuesdays With Story Writer’s Mail, May 20, 2010
By Carol Shay Hornung

Tuesday Night at the Bookstore

Kim – Jerry had a question about style and the capitalization of a certain word. Pat wants to know how many chapters there are, but the main character to her is Ryoko and not the character the book is named after, James Hyde. Millie would just change the name of it because all of the characters are interesting. Kim wants it to be about all of them, but Pat thinks Ryoko is far more interesting and cooler. Nicole thought there was a nice balance between the strong and feminine parts of Ryoko’s character. Alicia had a problem with Ramses – if he killed her mother, why would she hate him one second and fall into his arms the next? Jerry suggested Ryoko’s mission changes at the end of the chapters to trying to find her husband.

Nicole – Millie thought it flowed along nice. Pat thought Angelo was a bad boy. Kim wanted more showing, not telling. Jen liked it overall as well, but was looking for a more active voice. Sam (new guy) liked his reaction to the girl. Pat liked his reaction to the siren. Kim wondered about the uncle and why we never meet him. Nicole says he’s a trucker, but she never told us that. Pat thought she could start the story in the car on the drive to ND. Alicia thought she might try telling the story from Angelo’s POV. What other kind of experiences might he have with the quiet of the night and the large open fields. Jerry thought some scenes begged for expansion.

Alicia – Jerry thought the end was when Lincoln says he doesn’t mind losing this one. Pat thanked her for the epilogue, but wanted her to leave out the qualifiers in the preface. Jerry had a comment about the preface – he was bored and wouldn’t have read the rest of the book if he read that first. Instead, perhaps it could be an end note, so if someone wants to read it they can. Kim doesn’t think she needs it at all. Phrases like, “Find an agent!” and “Don’t self-publish!” reverberate around the table. Pat (and the rest of us) think this could go all the way. Go Alicia!

Jen – Sam (new guy) thinks it’s cool already, and he hasn’t read any of it. Nicole thinks the narrator needs to not switch back and forth between the first and last names of one character because it can make it seem like there are multiple characters. Alicia did some research and discovered “Fringe” was based on “X-Files,” which totally changed her perspective on the story. Making this appealing to people outside of the genre is a hard task. Millie thought this could use a preface and some more backstory.

John – Pat wanted to know the reason for doing a synopsis. John said he wrote a one page synopsis, but someone at a conference suggested it be three to five pages. Everyone agrees that distilling the story down is a hard process. Patrick (other new guy from 2nd and 4th) thought it might be best to think of giving a synopsis over a cup of tea. “Or a beer,” Jerry said. The reader of the synopsis is not the audience. Nicole wanted to know who the story would be marketed to. John thought that would be addressed in the query letter. Kim liked the beginning of the synopsis but by the time it got to the talking squirrel it was hard to keep up. Pat wants more emotional response instead of plot, plot, plot.

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