Tuesday, September 13, 2011


     I'm going to the beach for the week and plan to do some writing and LOTS of reading (catching up on 4 books). On the posts for the Writer's Digest prompts there was not much in the way of commentary or critical exchanges, so I will be commenting on 3 of the posted responses to the prompt by the weekend.

     I hope to start a trend on the page of "posting once and commenting thrice".
Have a good week and I'll have more soon!

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     9/19/2011 - I replied with some comments for "rahree" for the post that was originally submitted on September 8, 2011 at 8:31 pm. It's under the "Treasure Awaits" writing prompt, near the bottom. I'm trying to hone my critical thinking by providing a little more than just a simple "I like it" respond. I hope that other's do the same, heck that's why I keep posting here!

     Take a look and join the conversation, either here or there, to give feedback on my writing and/or critical responses.

     One Down... 2 to go...

Posted Comments:     Rahree ~ your two interesting pieces are so very different and fun. I prefer the second posting, but the first has tons of nuance and instant rapport with the reader with the internal conversation. I hope these comments aid you in your writing. I look forward to seeing more!

Section #1:
     This one is a little short with several great details, but not much expansion. I do like how the tone is very conversational as if the reader and the character are friends chatting over a drink. Lots of foreshadowing with the details and several loops ends or plot holes that would need significant filling, but it gives a breezy and light touch to the crazy Uncle Skip. The pop culture reference "…a little Captain in him" could work well to show the character’s age and basic background, but does risk confusing those not in the know. The sparse text leaves me wanting more; great start would love to see where Skippy takes you!
     Question: You set up some good tension with Mikey. Does it serve your narration to keep him an enigma like Uncle Skip?

     This piece grounds the story in a setting that drapes the scene with a little more visceral sensations. Scottish pub, beer, music, etc. A few details point to the character being somewhat out of place in either location or age group; "college roomies", "twenty-somethings" and "strapping?". All are good details that heighten the uncomfortable confrontation with the Uncle. The description of the Uncle is good, but seems almost seductive (or am I just reading that wrong?).
     The manipulation of the tension is good, angry at the "coward", calming with another drink then the descent into hugs and tears, All done in a scant eight lines! The breakdown comes as a surprise then they move back to the bar quickly. Great ending point, seems almost as if we’re zooming out on the scene as the two sidle up to the bar.

     Question: How could the tension and subsequent explosion of tears be built to a grand crescendo? If that were not the intent, how would you expand on the turbulent emotional ride the main character undertakes?


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     9/22/2011 - I replied with some comments for "carla73" for the post that was originally submitted on September 5, 2011 at 7:38 pm.

Posted Comments:          Carla ~  Wow, this story was a wild ride!  From the humble almost Norman Rockwell-ian beginning to the double agent turn at the end, the character goes through an emotional crucible and discovers Karen’s identity.  The story was wholly unexpected and exciting; a little “Desperate Housewives” and a little of “The Tourist” (Sorry if those two programs are cliché, I tried to pick two that were widely known and available).
     In the first section there seemed to be a few mixed tenses, “composed”, “seems” and “stares”, all in the third paragraph.  I am horrible with mixing tenses, in fact I probably am right now, but it’s something I notice more as people point it out in my writing.  Most of the story is dialogue and with the present tense it drives the action with vigor.  That brings me to the next point…
     The alliteration of “violently vomit” works well, but I got stuck on the details of the action.  It might not need to be a visceral description, but where does she expel her stomach?  Later she crawls to the sink leading me to believe that it was not the sink.  Susan wipes her mouth with her shirt, so it doesn’t seem to be a messy ordeal, but that could be my reading.
     The missing keys are an interesting plot twist and create a tipping point for the characters.  You focused on the story of Susan with first person narration and the three characters are heading to a climactic confrontation.  My question for you is; who will be the main character after this point?  Will the story remain with Susan or jump to another character’s perspective from this point forward?  You ended with a great cliffhanger that leaves the reader begging for more.  It was fun and exciting read!

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     9/22/2011 - I replied with some comments for "Sicire" for the post that was originally submitted on September 5, 2011 at 12:37 am.

Posted Comments:          Sicire ~ This is an subtle yet effective way to bring about a character’s interesting "transformation". You provide foreshadowing and cover the characters’ history in only a few lines.
     You foreshadow the "change" in tone with a playground taunt "…you look just like a girl" and end the piece with the sly resolution "so like her". In between these lines the gender of the character is fairly well rooted in the "he’s" and "him’s", but "…when he left the hospital", is telling of the narrator’s viewpoint. Since "you" know the situation with Sam/Santino, would "you" still refer to Sam/Santino as he in the hospital line? Lastly… should we be familiar with "Jonah" and "Becky"?
     Good short story. This would be an interesting start or conclusion to a larger tale.

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Well folks that makes p1c3 complete!  Posted once and Commented thrice, hope that catches on...

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