Tuesdays With Story
June 23, 2011
“Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have “essential” and “long overdue” meetings on those days. The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg.” — J.K. Rowling
Tuesday at B&N . . .
Amber kicked off the evening by reading from Chapter 22 of her still untitled YA novel. Kim wondered if the main character would notice her father thinking about something before he says anything. Pat wanted more action from the brothers at the dinner table. Jerry needed more reaction from the mother at the dinner table when the brothers rush back to the kitchen. Jen W. wonders if the dragon can cloak his scent as well as his looks. Clayton and Jerry have a problem with the number of speech tags throughout the chapter – some could be moved to increase suspense.
Greg Spry shares Chapter 7 from Beyond Cloud Nine with the group. Clayton thought the main character had been poisoned, but Greg tells us her symptoms are due to a combination of space lag, drug addiction, and being around family. A few people suggested he update the glow-in-the-dark stars and maybe the windows. Clayton wonders if the niece would defend the robot/pet. Pat’s looking for more sister/twin shorthand later in the chapter – would they get more catty as the chapter goes on? Millie likes that the main character is becoming more humanized. Jen W. didn’t think the Japanese word used for a particular member of the family was correct. Pat liked the way Greg slipped in the digital paper; very smooth.
Millie shares Chapter 26 with the group from Life on Hold. Kim called out one line she liked in particular. Pat loves Millie’s exposition but thinks she has a fetish for eye color. Which brings up the question, does hair color really matter? A few of the group weren’t sure why they would drive around the Chicago loop before heading to the Northwest suburbs, unless someone is trying to stall. Judith thought she captured the tension of meeting someone’s family. Clayton asked if one parent would believe another character’s story more than the other. Jerry thinks as it is, the dinner is kind of a throwaway; he wants the knock-down, drag-out row to happen over dinner, with the hired help around!
Liam shares a prologue or even a first chapter of a story with the group. Pat brings up the POV problems right away, but it was still readable. Jerry thinks the whole chapter should be from the main character’s POV. No one knew who the grainy picture was of. Jen didn’t think the FBI would be that calm with that many charges against one man. Aaron didn’t think the FBI would stop to tell the butler who they were there to see either; they would just bust in. Jen W. and Amber wondered who Scott and Rory are. Pat had a problem with the butler committing suicide. The list of charges seemed like such a farce to Randy, it set the tone for the rest of the chapter for him.
Rebecca shares a part of her Cheese Logue under the theme of cyclists. Pat really likes the stream of conscience writing. Jerry thought it was nicely done. Clayton questioned the tense. Rebecca says it should be in the past tense since they’re written as journal entries, but a few people noted a switch in tense. Judith thought it had some nice descriptions. Eileen thought she could take and develop the character of the cheeses even more. (more…)