Posts Tagged ‘Mystery to Me’

Writer’s Mail
October 31, 2013

“First drafts are for learning what your novel or story is about.” – Bernard Malamud

Notes from 10/29/2013
Lisa reads from Chapter Seven of The Tebow Family Secret. Pat was confused as to why one character’s friend was there and how she got in. Andy liked the content of the chapter but he had a question about the wedding and what the dance was for. Jerry says this is a talking scene, which makes it a sleeper unless there’s something physical going on. Pat says there’s a lot of information and some tension, which is good, but there could be more. Jerry didn’t think the scene in the bleachers was believable partly because he didn’t think the bleachers are a place to discuss medical diagnosis. Andy felt the word ‘just’ was overused.

Pat shares her poem Instruments of Flight. Judith loved it. Lisa really liked it. Andy liked that every stanza was different. Bob liked there was a nice establishment and at the end it felt a little up in the air, no pun intended. The mystery almost overshadows the poem itself for Bob. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail

September 3rd Meeting for 1st and 3rd Group
Lisa McDougal read from chapter 6 from Tebow Family Secret. Ruth commented that the dialogue was great and that the story flowed. Betsy found Adam’s discussion of the details surrounding his wife’s disappearance intriguing. Jerry commented that the reference that Jessica makes about her New Jersey accent needs to be spelled out so that the reader can “hear” it. He also suggested that the beginning of the chapter could be shortened. Lisa said that she didn’t like the ending of the chapter. Betsy suggested that she cut the last line. The rest of the group made suggestions that Jessica could just shrug, not making any response to Adam’s abrupt order to refrain from bringing up his wife’s disappearance in the future. Judith suggested that Jessica could just change the subject. Amber suggested that she could bring up something that happened earlier in the chapter.

Millie Mader read chapter 46 from Life On Hold . Andy and Lisa both felt that Scot’s last comment saying he wouldn’t be coming home for Christmas, could be more compelling if he gives the reason. Jerry suggested that Scot could say “That is going to be a problem”. There was also a discussion as to whether chemo was given as a shot or a drip at the time. Millie said it would be a drip and that shots of other medication were also administered. Andy mentioned that the conversation at the end between Erin and Dolly should have a smoother transition between discussion on Danny’s overdose and their anticipation about going back to school.

Ruth Imhoff read chapter 4 from Motto of the Hound. Jerry commented that FBI Agent Williams would need to get permission from the local police to do anything on the case. Ruth explained that Agent Williams is the “bad” guy. The group asked Ruth about Blackfan’s strange reaction after the phone conversation with Agent Williams. She explained that Williams uses hypnotic suggestions to influence the behavior of people who may disagree with him. The other question raised by the group was the reason Blackfan was unaware that Simon, who has been his partner of five years, was formerly an FBI agent. Jerry suggested that Blackfan should question Simon more about her that. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesday With Story
August 20, 2013

“I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.” – Peter DeVries

Tuesday at Barnes & Noble . . . (thank you, Amber)
Lisa shares chapter five of Tebo’s Family Secret. Jerry asks where the manor house is because for a place to have its own zip code, it has to be huge. Pat was surprised by the intensity of some of the chapter, comparing it to Dynasty. Millie requests a synopsis. To Pat it seems really a lot and very violent. Jerry agreed the scene seemed out of place. Pat wonders why the character’s family doesn’t make up a story for her. Jerry expected that character to get fed up and leave. Pat liked the dialogue, though it was out of character for her. Lisa is concerned that she is not giving the reader enough information and says that she may end up scrapping the chapter altogether. Jerry suggests cutting some of the dialogue about hair color and styles.

Andy shares a second set of scenes from Pilleum. Millie wonders where this takes place. Andy wonders what we think of the villain. We all agree that he is unlikable. Pat doesn’t think of him as a villain yet, just an irritating bureaucrat and found the motives of one of the characters unclear. She suggests giving the characters something to do.

Bob shares a couple of poems with the group. Judith liked the second part of Last Snowfall of the Season where he describes a bird without calling it a bird. Pat found some really nice word images. In October Shower, Jerry had a question about the first arc – he never envisioned the sky as an arc. Judith suggested swapping out one of his uses of the word “pavement” as they follow one another closely. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays With Story
July 16, 2013

Writer’s quotation . . .(thanks, Jerry)
“Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you’d most like not to lose.” – Neil Gaiman, novelist/graphic novelist/screenwriter (1960- )

Tuesday at B&N . . . (thank you, Amber)
Ruth shares chapter four of Motto of the Hound. Lisa has a question about the match and the sketch artist, but Ruth explains they only had a face not a name. Jerry points out that one character joins the chapter out of nowhere, she needs to be brought in, not just appear. Pat thought it moved well and she’s understanding the work, but noticed one male character uses a female speech patterns. Lisa had to ask if one character was a man or woman. Alicia thought she had an opportunity to play up the comedy more. Going back to Ruth’s rewrite of Chapter three Jerry suggests using parallel construction with the speech tags. Pat and Jerry think the magic needs more narration.

Alicia shares a scene from Lincoln’s Other War. Lisa and Judith really liked this scene. Pat thought it had great visuals and has a comment about the color of Dogwood flowers there should be. She also thinks the ending could be zingier as it doesn’t make her want to turn the page.

Bob reads from an older version of part two from What is Missing. Lisa thought he could separate the letter reading from the rest of the narration to make it easier to read. Andy wasn’t so sure. Pat wonders if the last sentence is the end of the story. Bob says it is. Pat thinks that works, the main character doesn’t have to be back at the home by the end of the story and she thinks there are some great images. Jerry had a question about the door handle. There is some question of whether it matters if the reader knows the letter from another character is real or not. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail for 05/29/13

“The Muse visits during the act of creation, not before. Don’t wait for her. Start alone.” ― Roger Ebert

Tuesday at B&N . . .

Ruth Imhoff started the night with Chapter 1, The Motto of the Hound. Ray suggested using the coroner’s name once we learn it. Nice set-up, good intrigue. Daniel as a detective, though, should be cataloging the crime scene. Throw in some clues, more details. Jen thought the voice was a little passive. Need more action, too much being told what’s going on. Rebecca lost track of the relationship of the characters at points. Wasn’t sure who the nemesis was… could be point of view issues. Carol thought it was a good set-up, especially the line about Daniel being back from personal leave – what happened?

Mike R. shared a couple of poems with us. Holly thought the line about “love for all” could be clarified a bit, and Carol spotted the use of the word “lost” in quick succession. Rebecca thought the line about spontaneity was a bit convoluted, but enjoyed the details in the resot of the poem. Katelin liked the first poem better, as the imagery stood out for her more. Ray liked the line about ambivalence relating to the strength to do right.

Ray Woodruff read Chapter 1 from his novel. Carol found it very creepy, felt the kid was behaving so well because he was absolutely terrified. Andy thought the narrative put downs of the kid were excessive. Holly said the kid didn’t really relate to the mom as a mom, and appears more scared than trusting. Katelin followed up on that, saying the narrator’s perspective is overriding that of the child and is creating the difference between scared and trusting. Andy thought it was well written, but perhaps a little too dark, which distracted from what was going on in the scene. Carol liked the line “He’s pretty sure bad things happen in the dark.”

Katelin Cummins offered scenes from her new idea, Viera. (more…)

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