Posts Tagged ‘words’

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
July 9, 2019

The first word . . .

“We read five words on the first page of a really good novel and we begin to forget that we are reading printed words on a page; we begin to see images.”
– John Gardner (1933-1982), novelist/essayist/literary critic

They gathered at ye olde bookseller . . .

Ten of our writers clustered around a double table setup at Barnes & Noble Westside, Tuesday evening, critiquing the work of six of their colleagues. Here are some of the comments that were shared:

Mike Austin (short story, “The Cold”) . . .

Amber Boudreau (chapters 8-9, Mavis) . . . Tracey wasn’t sure how old a character was. In her head, she had him much older than she thought he was. That would affect what her character thought of the budding romance between him and the protagonist. Bob appreciated the tension built around the necklace. John thought the ending line was good enough to get people to turn the page and keep reading.

Jack Freiburger (chapters 49-50, A Walk upon the Water) . . . Many more suggestions than usual.  Need to add Dad as the anxious person to stand in for the reader, make clear the Maine calmness in the face of just another sea disaster.  Group liked potted better than baptizing the old lady. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
March 1, 2019


Back again at last!


One short of a dozen writers returned to B&N Westside on Feb 19th to critique the works of five of their colleagues. We were not snowed out, rained out or froze out – something to celebrate. Here are summaries of some of the things that were said:

Larry Sommers (Letter to the Editor of the Svenska Dagsbladet) . . . Jerry wants to know how the doctor knows the ages of the children he’s never met and suggests adding the word about. The story drew Tracey in, but she didn’t think it was a letter to the editor. Maybe if he got rid of the beginning and end. Jack didn’t think it was arch enough and recommended making it more “Dickensian,” with a real letter to the editor and then a letter to the author’s sister with the whole (short) story. Jean enjoyed the interaction between the main character and the young girl. Amber was a little unclear as to what the author’s goal was. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
November 23, 2018

At Barnes & Noble Westside

For the second meeting in a row, seven writers gathered in the magic circle. They critiqued the work of seven of their colleagues. Here is some of what was said:

Kashmira Sheth and Amit Trivedi (chapter 1, rewrite, untitled novel) . . . Jack would prefer the story open with a wide shot and then had a question about how dark
it was exactly. He also had comments about continuity and breaking up sentences. Jerry thought the story was going to be about the tree. Cindi found the descriptions beautiful, but wondered why they traveled down to the temple and back. Larry and Jack are looking for some symbolic value as they’ve read ahead and know what’s coming. They’re in search of a hook. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays With Story
 June 5, 2018

Eight of us gathered around to read and critique each other’s work last Tuesday.

Jack Freiburger read from A Walk upon the Water. Millie noted a character blew his nose twice and Jack admits the Irish are a sentimental bunch. Deb hopes Jack reads the audio version of the book, but he says he can’t do the accents from Maine. Millie wants to know how old one of the characters is. Larry wonders if there’s going to be a golden fleece and thought it was a good read. Deb thought the pacing was fine but wanted a little more detail about a character’s handkerchief. And Larry congratulated Jack on using a word he had to look up. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
February 16, 2010 by Pat E.

“First, try to be something, anything, else. A movie star/astronaut. A movie star/ missionary. A movie star/kindergarten teacher. President of the World. Fail miserably. It is best if you fail at an early age – say, 14. Early, critical disillusionment is necessary so that at 15 you can write long haiku sequences about thwarted desire.” – Lorrie Moore

Writing Friends…

The Grandmaster Challenge
You could win a COOL-ER™ ereader!
Do you have what it takes to write your own Five Ancestors adventure? Jeff Stone has started a brand new story from Grandmaster’s point of view but he wants you to finish it! http://www.randomhouse.com/kids/fiveancestors/

Scholarship to Writers Conference

The Swivet is maintained by Colleen Lindsay, publishing consultant, professional nerd and a literary agent at FinePrint Literary Management. Win a scholarship to the Backspace Writers Conference & Agent-Author Seminar in NYC! http://theswivet.blogspot.com/

This same blogs yields a very funny YouTube video Cathy found for us.  It takes the point-of-view of the agent, but I feel like this often during critiques…. http://theswivet.blogspot.com/search/label/hilarity%20ensues

Tuesday at the Barnes & Noble

Clayton – Chapter 10 – Challenges for this chapter included introducing more details about Miker’s Grandmother and the Hotel. Jerry thinks Grandma should run the car off the road. Pat wonders, ‘Where’s the fish?’ Jerry wonders where the challenge is for Miker – he’s the lead. Alicia didn’t buy the scene with the cop. Give the cop something to react too. Why didn’t he use the taser first? That wasn’t clear to Kane. Pat wanted to know why the cop was there in the first place. Amber didn’t think Miker would be singing a nursery rhyme in the shower. Jerry thinks Miker would be in and out of the shower in a hurry, and maybe go exploring after. Are the parents out there somewhere? Millie took it that they were deceased. Jerry suggested the seed of the parents be planted early. Judith thought the cop could have some kind of a flashback. Kane wants to know what could happen if Rick gets tasered? (more…)

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