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Posts Tagged ‘W.S. Merwin’

TUESDAYS WITH STORY
WRITER’S MAIL FOR JULY 14, 2010
by Greg Spry

Meeting Recap: Tuesday, July 13th – 2nd & 4th
To borrow the immortal words of “Pogo,” “Friday the Thirteenth came on a Tuesday this month.” But it was a good 13th as 13 people gathered at Barnes & Noble for talk of divorce, fairy tales, lobster fishing, science fiction, and the grapes of death. . .

Holly Bonnicksen-Jones started things off with a scene from Coming Up for Air. There was some confusion regarding the phrase “Little Sister Lecture” – we weren’t sure which one was the little sister. Have Liza tune out for a second, not a minute. That’s too long. And the love of Ty isn’t being question, it’s whether Liza is being a good mom. Maybe move some of the ruminating to the scene with the psychologist.

Randy Haselow read chapter three of Hona and the Dragon. Be sure to have Hona tell her friend the name of the dragon, now that she knows it. The dialog had a lot of complete sentences – chop that up a bit. There was a lot of discussion about Hona’s character – should she have more attitude and strength now, or is it all part of the Master Fairy Tale plan to have the character develop more later on? We agreed that the dragon and flying carpet are driving the story now, but it seems to be a quietly building classic fairy tale, and the other elements will come through soon.

Jack Freiburger presented a scene from Path to Bray’s Head. Tighten up a bit – there’s some redundancy about folks not talking, but keep details like the “whine of the winch.” Also, “Immediately I realized” seems too long of a phrase to best serve Sean’s sudden realization that Dick isn’t there. The action was nicely upped at the end with that revelation.

Patrick Tomlinson read a segment of his novel A Hole in the Fence. The humor works well, but an absurd plot or quirky characters are needed sooner to engage the reader. Too much narration, could use more dialog. There seemed to be an odd mix of technological description and nature metaphors, and there were times that the hard core science fiction was conflicting with the fun, humorous bits. Watch the point of view – stick to one character per scene, and be careful of description for the sake of description.

Andrea Kirchman finished things up with chapter 3 of Reunion. Lots of great descriptions and funny lines. There were some continuity issues – can’t describe someone’s face if the character can’t see her face. Take out some of the eye rolls (but keep the last one, where it’s passed on to the children). And why does she throw the grapes away? Have her react, give her an emotional reason to chuck ‘em in the trash.

Who’s Up Next?
July 20: Randy Haselow (chapter, Hona and the Dragon), Nicole Rosario (???), Jen Wilcher (chapter, Memories Awakened), Judith McNeil (radio play/part 2, “South to Sunday”), Patrick Tomlinson (short story/part 2, “Downloading Death”), and Karl Bryan (short story, “Dubai Stopwatch”/part 2).

July 27: Terry Hoffman (chapter, The Journal), Karen Zachary (Oak Arena), Karl Bryan (short story, “Dubai Stopwatch” part 3), Dan Hamre (either “Afterthought” or “Tractor Jockey”), Annie Potter (chapter, memoir)

August 3: Kim Simmons (chapters 41-42, James Hyde), Greg Spry (novella/part 3, Goodbye, Mars), Randy Haselow (chapter, Hona and the Dragon), Amber Boudreau (chapter 15), Clayton Gill (chapter 15, Fishing Derby), and Jerry Peterson (chapter 12, For Want of a Hand)

August 10: Patrick Tomlinson (A Hole in the Fence), Jen Wilcher (???), Holly Bonnicksen-Jones (Coming Up For Air), Jack Freiburger (Path to Bray’s Head), Randy Haselow (Hona and the Dragon)

August 17: John Schneller (chapter 1, book 3), Millie Mader (poem), Patrick Tomlinson (???), Judith McNeil (???), and Aaron Boehm (???).

Next Fifth Tuesday: August 31st, 2010
Still looking for a place for our next Fifth Tuesday feast and festival of writing, August 31. But we’re no longer looking for a writing challenge. We have that: You’re late for work because you overslept. Your boss hates oversleepers, but he does love entertaining stories. Create the most outlandish excuse for why you were late . . . and do it in no more than 400 words. (more…)

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