|WWII French Resistance, downed B-17 flyer, SOE agent|
Inkblots this evening was an enactment of the importance of having other serious writers listen and critique what we are writing. I am a firm believer that every good writer needs this and will take pains to seek it out. That's what we did this evening. It cerainly helped me.
Rachel leads off with more cheese. Do we have a working title for this yarn? I gain weight listening to Rachel read this work in progress. I do hope when it is published (and the sooner the better) that Rachel Ng will immediately do an author-read audio book. This is evocative of a bustling kitchen in a high-cuisine restaurant in Russia. "I'm not a man for paperwork." Love this evasion. Makorov in hand. Can we hear rounds being chambered? Bob commented that to his ear there seemed to be too many adjectives in the opening paragraph. We had Rachel reread it. I liked it, but we do have to be careful of over modifying. Concrete nouns and active verbs, the stock and store of good writers. You might try dividing the compound complex sentence into two sentences. Rachel wanted to overwhelm the senses with the opening paragraph.
Alisa had a tough editor who she asked to help her with racial perspective that Alisa did not have, She will read The Emblem, set at the Brick Tavern, the oldest bar in Washington State. She warns us that there are many things going on in this scene. Too much? She warned us that there is swearing and they had prostitutes in Roslyn, Washington in 1930s mining frontier town. Not interested in the indulgences she might have to offer him. He had a wife and several kids back in Seattle. Be specific. How many kids, boys or girls? He recollects some specific thing about them. The son's illness is an important detail. They're beyond my pay. Could you say this in a more colloquial fashion? Doctor tests, they costs money, don't they? At the front of the Brick. Weather-worn miner who should not have come up from the underground today. Can you expand the tactile and sensory context? What does it smell like in the bar? Sound like? Is there music, oddly grinding out its merry tune while the brawl is underway? Slamming a beer mug onto the Douglas fir countertop. Alisa went to the pioneer picnic and learned that negroes in 1930 went to a different tavern. A friend thinks she needs to include backstory from the 1880s strike. We talked about ways to do this without losing the flow of the story. Create a narrator character who loves telling stories, and his good at it. Then flashback from their retelling of the past events.
French Cousins, John reads from his children's stories for his grandkids who have French cousins, his daughter having married a French pastor. This is a grandfather's labor of love, charming, nostalgic, a delightful read. Creative non-fiction genre. Very handsome indeed. Can you give this more specific visual substance so the reader can conclude that they're very handsome indeed. It seems like you jump from the south of France to Switzerland too quickly. Is it possible to create episodes in both so you don't have to describe France then switch to Switzerland. And honk her horn, is active voice, whereas, the horn would honk, is passive voice. Your writing will be more vigorous if you primarily write in active voice. Good description of cathedral and night sky. I feel like I'm hearing some late attribution; be sure the reader knows who is speaking early on in what they are saying; otherwise, the attribution is less helpful. Best way to do this is to break quotations early with a mid-sentence attribution. Amsterdam, a small town? This reads like a warm children's travel adventure. John does a good job of writing from the perspective of the children.
Bob reads from the second book in his Sinbad series. Last reading his protagonist is in India for the tenth anniversary of his coronation. This is a bridge chapter, the next having more adventure and potential danger. Bob writes from first person, Sinbad. Bob addresses the dear reader. Is there a better way to do this? Or is this Bob's voice and method, like CS Lewis does in Narnia, oral story telling genre? Bob claims to be lazy and that's why he likes writing journey stories. The yarn can unfold as it unfolds. I'm looking forward to this book in print. Read The Crescent and the Cross for the first installment. Adventures on the high seas await!
I read chapter nine of The Resistance (working title). I'm working on chapter twenty three now and feel like I have good forward momentum, though always far too many interruptions (cows on the loose, guests arriving, my not-so-latent ADHD, you name it). Chapter nine is a shift from French Resistance Normandy, downed flyers trying to stay one step ahead of the Waffen SS hunting them down, to 1 Dorset Square London where 1000s of SOE agents trained to go behind enemy lines and work alongside the French Resistance. I enjoyed creating this chapter. Maybe I should post it for a sneek preview.
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