Posts Tagged ‘Sophie Littlefield’

“If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ~ Toni Morrison

Tuesdays With Story Writers Mail, June 3, 2010
by Jen Wilcher

Tuesday Night at the Bookstore

Clayton read from Chapter twelve of his story, Fishing Derby. He tells us he’s not wild about the beginning, and Pat suggests cutting the first paragraph. Jerry notes that the chapter starts with a dependent clause, which is a weak beginning anyway. Pat got bored with the other boat. It was like a really slow car chase. Millie thought it was exciting. Jerry thinks if a character has severe PTSD, it has to be set up earlier, so we understand it. John thought the character was shot. All Miker did in this chapter was drive the boat, which might be a problem – readers might want to scream, “My hero isn’t doing anything!” John was confused, but he loved the action.

Kim read from her Chapter thirty-two of her recently renamed novel; City of Summer. Millie thought it had a lot of action. Pat wanted to know if someone from Summer would know what a snowflake was. Jerry didn’t think Hell would be in one character’s frame of reference. Clayton liked a word Kim created, could she come up with another for Hell? Elijah (new guy), notes that nowhere with ‘deepest pits’ is a nice place. Greg was wondering about what the main journey was.

Greg introduced us to his story Goodbye, Mars. Jen liked the general story overall, but didn’t get that the people he helps were human colonists. Pat wondered if the story should start later and the back-story could get sprinkled in. Jerry had a question about the viral toxin not being communicable. Pat thought the description of the gangster was a little, well, trite – could he make them good-lookin’? Cooties survive! Cathy was relieved to read the first page because she’s usually lost when she begins reading something sci-fi. John thought the computer could be used to account for the time change that concerned Amber.

Amber…is taking notes and can’t keep up with the wonderful comments. I read from chapter fourteen of my as yet untitled piece of work. How does Moira recognize the circle of stones? – Jerry. Do we see Bucktown coming? Merlin? The Once and Future King? Absentminded professor-ish – Clayton. Lighting in the distance at the game. Leave out some she saw, etc. – John. And other great comments I’m not fast enough to type.

Cathy shared her story, since changing the main character to the lifeguard who finds the dead body. Pat didn’t know why she was so upset after having seen a dead body. Maybe a line about, “never had a floater, huh?” John wasn’t sure why the lifeguard was so scared about being sued, because there didn’t seem to be reason for her anxiety. Overall, it felt accurate to Pat.

Jerry shared the tenth chapter from his novel. Greg thought the chapter by itself read like a short story. Jerry reminded us that the main character, Quinn, lost a hand and a leg in Iraq. John Wondered what the odds were of people taking pictures with their cell-phones at that exact moment in time. Most others found it likely. Pat hopes this is relevant to the story somewhere down the road in Quinn’s own murder trial. So does Jerry. So do we.

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