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Posts Tagged ‘Steven Wright’

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
May 13, 2015

He said it . . .

“Timid writers like passive verbs for the same reason that timid lovers like passive partners. The passive voice is safe. The timid fellow writes ‘The meeting will be held at seven o’clock’ because that somehow says to him, ‘Put it this way and people will believe you really know.’ Purge this quisling thought! Don’t be a muggle! Throw back your shoulders, stick out your chin, and put that meeting in charge! Write ‘The meeting’s at seven.’ There, by God! Don’t you feel better?”
– Stephen King (1947-), horror/sci-fi/fantasy novelist

Who’s up next . . .

May 19: Lisa McDougal (chapter 29, Tebow Family Secret), Amber Boudreau (chapter, Stone), Mo Bebow-Reinhard (???), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), Bob Kralapp (short story, part 2, “Flamingo”), and Jerry Peterson (short story, part 1, “Alone at the Hanging Treee”).

May 26: Jim Salimes (chapter 1, Tones of Home) and Ruth Imhoff (chapter 4, Bridge). (more…)

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Writer’s Mail

Tuesdays With Story
WRITER’S MAIL for October 3, 2012

“I don’t care who you are. When you sit down to write the first page of your screenplay, in your head, you’re also writing your Oscar acceptance speech.” — Nora Ephron

Who’s up next . . .
October 9: Josh Miller (prologue, A Chronicler’s Tale: Awakening), Karen Zethmayr (short story, “The Oak Arena”), Rebecca Rettenmund (chapter 13, The Cheese Logue), Carol Hornung (scene, The Lodge), and Terry Hoffman (scene, The Great Tome). *To join the reading list, contact Carol Hornung.

October 16: Lisa McDougal (chapter 7, Follow the Yellow), Amber Boudreau (chapter 11, Noble), Millie Mader (poem), Pat Edwards (poems), Aaron Boehm (film script, part 4, “Stealing from Yourself”), and Jerry Peterson (chapter 21-23, Rage).

Coming events . . .
(Thanks to Jerry Peterson)

Spike’s book launch . . . Spike Pedersen has invited all of us to come to the launch party for his first book, At First Light, October 21, 5-8 p.m., at Boulder’s Climbing Gym. That’s at 3964 Commercial Avenue in Madison. Why Boulder’s? At First Light is an adventure novel . . . and Boulder’s is a place where people train for the adventure lifestyle. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail  4/12/2010
by Kimberly Simmons

“I was reading the dictionary. I thought it was a poem about everything.” – Steven Wright

Last Week

Happy Birthday to Jerry Peterson!

Kim – Jerry thinks there’s some lyrical stuff here. Cathy and Millie liked the lush descriptions. Jen had a problem with the word loomed – it implies distance to her. Jerry suggests getting rid of the word suddenly – it has a tendency to be overused. Alicia didn’t think the two main characters were close enough for one to cry on the other’s arm. Pat thought Ryoko was more goddess in this chapter than before, which worked for her and Millie thought Ryoko was more tenderhearted as well. How is Levi coming off? Anyone? Clayton was looking for hints about the death of another character to come into question here.

Jen – Pat thought a lot of ‘de-adverb-is-izing,’ went on. Jerry suggests sticking with simpler, he said, she asked as opposed to using words like replied, retorted, answered, etc. Alicia still thinks it reads like a stage play or a script to her – it’s lacking description. For instance, what does the lab look like? What do some of the characters look like? Clayton thinks the elements are there, but can be expanded. Millie has a question about the passive voice and when it’s appropriate. Alicia thinks some passive voice is okay, as long as you don’t do it too often.

Amber – Many people had constructive comments, and I look forward to reading their notes, but I lack the skills required to interact with people and type at the same time. Am I fired? (No, Amber, you’re not fired.—Kim)

Alicia – Pat thinks she could leave the whole first paragraph out. In some measure, we already know a lot about Matson, just jump right in. Kim loved the chapter with Anthony and Jane together. Cathy thought the writing was tight, but didn’t get the stifled laughter. Millie (and everyone else) is glad to hear someone else has re-written their story about a million times. Clayton liked the choice of lawyer verbs associated with the questioning, like drilled. One character made need some ‘lawyering-up.’

Cathy – Kim liked Chapter 4 the best because she got a sense of, hey, something’s going on here. Jerry thought there had to be a threat made against the good-looking, friendly guy who ends up dead and he wanted to know if Nine took the emergency call about him. What happens to the rest of the beer? Somebody (anybody at our table) would totally steal it. Clayton likes to get up close and personal to the dead people – to see their character, whether they’re sympathetic or not. Kim wanted to know why he drinks another sample cup of beer when he’s already feeling sick from the first cup, but Shel thinks he doesn’t know what’s wrong with him, but he’s sure it can’t be the beer because he trusts his product.

Jerry – Kim (and Amber) wanted to know about Keystone cops. Alicia thought the diaper had to go in a food cart or someplace else, but Pat could see the nurse finding it later. Pat wanted to know when rubber pants came into existence. Shouldn’t there be seepage? Clayton thought Sonny could wish for his regulation gas mask. Good news for us mortals – Pat found a punctuation error. Clayton wanted a little more place at the beginning of the chapter to know whether he was inside or outside. The lack of an IV concerned Alicia – from her memories, if someone were out for two days they would be hooked up to fluids.

Who’s Up Next…
(more…)

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