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#1 of 26 Old 09-05-2006, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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As mentioned in another thread, there are a number of us working on novels who wish we had a group. So here it is.

I think we should each work toward having a piece ready to post once a week...the newest chapter, a piece of dialogue we need help with, a scene that doesn't work, etc. (I don't think we should post everything we write here, just what we need comments on or help with. )

I have plenty of room on my site to put long chapters, and could make them simple to access.

Shorter pieces are fine here...that's what BelovedK is always telling me! I think chapters are ok too, but she might want to let us know....Kelly???

I haven't got anything this week so far, I'm polishing the short story on another thread and sending it in to a contest. But I will have more within a few days.


So, what have you written? What have I said that you disagree with? How do YOU think we should run the group?








And POST something, already!
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#2 of 26 Old 09-05-2006, 11:24 PM
 
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BelovedK,

Okay, honest, honest: I find it very unwieldy. The names are mostly outlandish, and the style is too verbose. The first posting was OTT and it discouraged me from reading more.

That said, I like where you're exploring with Leila and the lucid memory even from before conception. That section is more engaging. I think it needs more work, but I think it would be more inviting as an opener.

FWIW,
Judi
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#3 of 26 Old 09-05-2006, 11:28 PM
 
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Okay, this was not the novel I had originally intended to pursue with this group, but for some reason, I'm reluctant to put my baby out there just yet. Here is an outline of another idea that I have. What do you think? Would this be an engaging novel?

The Tower of Babel

Woman, linguist, anthropologist, mother,

Discovers that the language of “monogenesis” is actually the “babble” spoken universally by babies

Begins to decipher and unravel, just as baby learns first words and loses ability to speak “babble”.

Continues to develop hypothesis, also trying to have another baby to further decipher the language.

She unlocks enough of it to keep 2nd baby speaking “babble” and teaching her more.

Takes children on pilgrimage to Babylon to study ancient texts. Finds that children’s so-called babble shares many words with ancient pre-Hebrew dialect spoken in Persia by reclusive philosophers, keeper of some sacred text. She and children are able to converse with scholars about the text.

Discover truth of origin of man and scattering around the planet, and meaning of life.

Catholic Church, Christian Right in U.S., Jews, Muslim clerics unite in effort to hush discovery, afraid that it disproves the existence of singular deity as creator, gives power to achieve happiness and spiritual oneness directly to people. People discover how the simplicity of these truths were known by religious clerics, but kept from them in order to maintain control over them. Anti-organized religion riots spark in several countries around the world... as people struggle to re-learn the universal language.

Matriarchal society returns.
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#4 of 26 Old 09-06-2006, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Kelly, I remember the first part, so I was interested in reading what happened next.


Personally, the names are fine with me. I have a hard time with names and like ahving something unusual. (I love that we never all agree!)


It's alot of narative to wade through though. Hard to keep the readers interest with no action. I mean, stuff happens, but we hear about it, son't participate in it. If Malcolm feels grief, or Browyn BURNS, shouldn't we know some of the agony?

I thought this was really good,

“Chandi” it was a deep, male voice, “where is Bronwyn?”
“Go and see for yourself, she’s in the back bedchamber. We lost one of the babies, she’s on my bed awaiting the fire”
I heard him leave the room, my eyes were still closed.
My senses grew sharper. When my eyes opened I looked up to see her face clearly. She was an ample and squishy woman with a round face and eyes as squinty as a rat’s. I could hear mother’s sobs clearly, though she was at least two rooms over."


But still, I'd change it to: "

“Chandi, where is Bronwyn?" asked Malcolm.

“Go and see for yourself, she’s in the back bedchamber. We lost one of the babies.”
I heard him leave the room, my eyes were still closed.
My senses grew sharper. When I opened my eyes I looked up to see her face clearly. She was an ample and squishy woman with a round face and eyes as squinty as a rat’s. I could hear mother’s sobs clearly, though she was at least two rooms over."


And that's the babys POV, right? Then there's the narrator and Brownwyn, or am I missing something? I got confused, not knowing who's head I was in.

Lastly, I'd describe each thing once and only once. Mother's breasts, malcolms grief, sweet milk and nursing. I'd give less description, but that's where you and I usually disagree!

I like the idea of the story, the concept. Honestly, I think you should just WRITE the whole thing out, start to finish and then worry about the details, making it all run together. Then you could decide which chapter would contain which description of what. And you'd have some presective to decide about pacing the story, and where it would NEED dialogue, where it would need narrative.



twilight girl, maybe. I mean, it COULD be an interesting book, but just from a description, it's nearly impossible to tell. It would depend on style, ability, plot twists, etc. Why not write a chapter, work on it and then try for an opinion. Thoreau could write about a day at teh lake doing nothing, and it was fascinating. I surely couldn't.

I can't figure how mother could 'teach' more babble, etc. I'm getting tied up in the possibilities! Probably a good sign!
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#5 of 26 Old 09-06-2006, 01:41 AM
 
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Can I be in the club?? Please???? : I am not actually currently working on a novel, but I have a screenplay that I wrote several years ago that I would like to turn into a novel, and another synopsis that I'm not sure if I would like to turn into a screenplay or novel. This may be the push I need to get writing again.

Alright, I just wanted to join, now I'll go back and read everyone's posts. Hee-hee.

~Beth, mama to two amazing girls, ages 12 and 6~

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#6 of 26 Old 09-06-2006, 08:25 AM
 
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I feel that the way I posted made things confusing. It is not in order and can not possibly be understood. I will now have to retype the whole prologue bc I lost it in my documents : I may or may not post it here. It needs way too much work at this point, sooo...just ignore my pp

                                Whatever will be, already is...
 
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#7 of 26 Old 09-06-2006, 10:28 AM
 
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Red,

Mother doesn't teach the babble. I mean that baby teaches her more of what she had started to learn from the 1st baby.

Judi
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#8 of 26 Old 09-08-2006, 12:54 AM
 
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Well, where is everybody? The thread seems to have petered out
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#9 of 26 Old 09-09-2006, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm getting somethign ready to post Wedensday!
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#10 of 26 Old 09-10-2006, 12:47 PM
 
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Cool! Gosh, I'd better get clacking then. Unfortunately, I'm single momming it this week while DH is on travel in Trinidad & Tobago. Plus, I have a translation to do, and a meeting that will take up my pre-school free time on Monday. Maybe I can work something up for Wednesday, but it'll be tough!
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#11 of 26 Old 09-10-2006, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Just take something you're already working on, put a half hour into proof reading it and PUT IT out there.
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#12 of 26 Old 09-10-2006, 11:09 PM
 
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You've got a point, Red. It's my baby, though, the hardest one to put out there and have it scrutinized, possibly rejected, possibly torn to bits. No sense keeping it locked up in a closet, though.
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#13 of 26 Old 09-10-2006, 11:31 PM
 
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Wowie zowie! Just checked in on the novel buddies thread I started, to find you guys had started a group...woo hoo!

I've been way too busy, too little time for novelling - however, I'm hoping to work on it this week. I'll check back in soon for a fuller read of your goodies and a synopsis of what I'm working on.

Tricia, treehugger.gif wild.gif geek.gif mama of dd (6) 

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#14 of 26 Old 09-12-2006, 12:06 AM
 
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I'm new here, been writting my novel since DS was 9mo and he's now almost 3, and I have a new baby almost 4mo...my charachters are constantly talking it out in my head, trying to figure out the climax of my story, but I've got all the prewriting done and the first 3 chapters. I'd like to join in if I can. I had a writing buddy, but she just started on her grad degree and so I have no one to critique or push me I write in spirts too, but I can do it on scheduel if I had one. How to you do this? I'm also writing a children's book series, but that is on the back burner until I get this done, or I'll never finish it

where do we post our stuff and when?

thanks!
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#15 of 26 Old 09-12-2006, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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MommyHawk, I'm shooting for having something ready every Wednesday. Do what works for you. Kelly (BelovedK) suggested starting a new thread every week, so this one doens't get crazy long. Since it's still short, I'm putting mine here. (Just stick yours here when you're ready!)

So, all you novel buddies, stop stalling, trust yourself to have done something GOOD.

Oh, a quick reminder for critiquing....Use the sandwich technique, say something nice FIRST and last, put your suggestions for improving in the middle. Be kind, remmeber there are lots of writing styles. You might not care for a story, but you can still offer good advice on making it flow better, or on the dialogue, etc.

If you're a BIG chicken just post and ask for NO critiquing! You won't learn much, but it's a good way to get used to seeing your work up for everyone to read, without having a heart attack.

Here's part of my novel. Sorry, I know this is starting in the middle. I'm really happy with the beginning at this point and don't want any help with that. I could use some help making htis more true-to-life. And I've been at this a long time. I have LOTS of rejection letters. Lots. My feelings are NOT going to be hurt by your opinion. Feel free, with me, to let it rip, ok?







While making her dinner, she turned the TV on so she could catch the news; the usual litany of horror and terror, war and murder. When they reached the local news, the reporter said, “Tonight, we start a new feature. For the next four Sunday nights, Becky Randolph will take a hard look at our foster care system, it’s triumphs and it’s pitfalls. Tonight, we’ll be looking at the adults involved, the social workers, the foster parents, the judges. Next week we’ll concentrate on the children. Join us for this series on the good and the bad in our system. Becky?”

Becky had started her piece with a dedicated social worker who struggled to keep up with her caseload, then a family who sheltered the states children.

“Of course,” came the voice of Becky from the TV, “there are wonderful parents like the family we just met, and there are parents, even foster parents, who are abusive. Just last month three children were found caged in the basement of their foster home.”

The screen showed the rickety homemade wooden crates the three handicapped children had been kept in up to 20 hours a day. The foster parents claimed to have taken good care of the children, but said they couldn’t watch the kids every minute and the cages had kept them safe.
The phone rang as the piece ended.

“Hey, Lis.”

“Hi, Jules.”

“Tell me you’re not watching the news.”

“I just did. I feel sick.”

“God! What are people thinking! They put handicapped children in cages! One of those kids was four years old!”

“Julie, what the Hell am I going to do? I had a nightmare that I got caught and they took Angie and I went to jail! I woke up, got a drink, went back to bed and had one where Angie was left crying in a crib, in a room full of cribs, like a thousand cribs! No one ever came to her and she was dying of neglect.”

“Someone must be looking for that baby.”

“I know! Like the girls parents, or grandparents. Or Angie’s father! I feel like I’m getting sucked in to a giant spiders’ web, the more I struggle, the worse I get caught. But if I don’t struggle, Angie is the one who suffers.”

“That baby is going to a foster home anyway, when you get arrested.”

“Julie! Give me a break!”

“I’m sorry. I don’t know what to say. I mean, I know you should call the authorities, but I wouldn’t want to do it, either. You haven’t thought of anything else?”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know! Something. Anything!”

“I still only see two options,” Lisa said wearily. “Make the call. Or don’t.”

“Well, whatever you decide to do, I’m with you. If I can help you, I will.”

“I love you, Jules!”

“I know. I love you, too.”


*******


Waking from another night of broken sleep, Lisa called in to work on Monday morning. She was calling early, so Mr. Harker wouldn’t be at his desk yet, and she could leave a message on the answering machine.

“Hello?”

Great! Of all the days for Mr. Harker to go in early!

“Uh, hi, Mr. Harker. It’s Lisa. I’m not feeling well today, so I won’t be in,” she told him nervously.

“Today? Lisa, we have a big report due! I need you today. Come in until lunch, then if you still feel sick, you can go home.”

“Oh, I’m really sorry, but I can’t. I think I have the flu. Really. I feel terrible.”

“Are you coming in tomorrow?”

“Oh, yes! Absolutely. I’m sure I’ll feel better by then!”

“Great,” he said, clearly not meaning it. She thanked him for his understanding, though he missed the sarcasm.

Another round of feeding, burping, changing, bathing, changing again, before Lisa managed a quick shower and headed back to the store. This is it, she told herself. If you don’t find her mother, you make a call. Or go to jail!

The store was nearly empty. Few people shopped early on Monday morning. As she was turning to pick up a bag of diapers, a figure caught the corner of her eye. She whirled to see a young woman with greasy hair and worn jeans bending over to look at the display of earrings across the aisle. Heart pounding, she darted away down one aisle and around a corner out of sight.

What am I doing?!

After only a second she hurried back to the jewelry counter, but, she found a woman much older than the girl she’d expected, missing one front tooth and with a tattoo of a rose on her upper arm. Shaken and appalled, she headed for the check-out. Here she was, driving ‘cross-town every day to look for Angie’s mother, only to hide if she thought she saw her.

It’s time. Time to make the call. Lisa pulled into a fast food parking lot and called 411. Asking for the number of the CPS office, her hands sweating so badly she could barely keep hold of her pen, she scratched the number on a scrap of paper. She tried to think of what her parents would say. Most foster parents were good people, most of them would take excellent care of the babe.

But she didn’t know the Angie’s real name, or her mothers’, or where they lived. Angie would be a “Jane Doe.” They’d have to go to court to free her for adoption and that would take months, maybe even years. Years of Angie living with first one family and then another. Years of having no family to call her own. And possibly years of living with people who’d cage children.

Call. Get it over with! She glanced at her watch. Eleven o’clock. Plenty of time for CPS. Plenty of time for a walk on the beach. “How about it, kiddo,” she asked the babe, “a walk, before we call?” A few more minutes wouldn’t hurt anything.

The beach was much quieter today. Only a few people were scattered along the sand, no one was in the water. With Angie in the sling, and the breeze in her hair, she set off along the waters’ edge, her thoughts tumbling and crashing like the waves. As the ocean gradually worked it’s magic, she felt her head clear. For days she’d made this all seem like a huge thing, worrying over every little detail! The choice before her was simple enough; make a phone call, or don’t. Just a simple phone call.

No, that’s not fair. Be honest. The decision is to turn this baby over, or to keep her. Keep her! Just keep someone else’s child!

The wind was picking up, pulling her hair loose and blowing it across her eyes. She stopped walking and faced out to the ocean, to the horizon, so that her hair blew straight behind her. The tide was coming in, the waves reaching a bit higher with every passing minute.

Of course, none of this was my idea! I was looking for a book. A book I haven’t had much time to read. Too bad I wasn’t reading it last night instead of watching the news, she thought, wryly.

The piece on the foster care system had stayed with her all night, invaded her dreams; Angie in a wooden crate, screaming with colic, desperate for help.

And her mother did ask me to watch her. I could just keep watching her. Her mother could have taken her to CPS if she’d wanted her to go there.

Pros and cons, Lisa, that’s what Dad would say. List the pros and cons. Use logic.

In her mind, Lisa imagined a piece of paper with a line drawn down the middle. If she kept Angie, no, this baby- I should never have named her! I need to try to think about what’s best for her, not how I feel!- then she’d face legal trouble, possibly jail, if she was caught.

If she called CPS now, she would probably be let go, but Ang-, this baby, would go to a foster home. Of course, it might be a great foster home. They did exist. She might have a wonderful family who’d love and care for her, but they’d be temporary, if she was lucky. Lucky children moved quickly through the system. If her parents couldn’t be found, she’d be put in an adoptive home, and if it worked, adopted by that family. Still, it would take a few years to terminate the parents rights, get the legal stuff done. Angie would still be young. She’d never remember all of this.

Or she have Lisa’s own luck. She’d been in a few adoptive homes. One possible mother had gotten sick, another family had decided to move out-of-state before the six month trial period was up. By the time you were two, your chances of ever getting adopted fell off drastically. Being adopted at thirteen by strangers was a miracle.

Then again, she could wind up like Julie. Julie’s mother had popped up from time to time, just often enough to keep her from ever getting adopted. Every few years she’d go to live with her mother for a few months, then her mother would start drinking and shooting heroin again and she’d go to another foster home.

She peered down into the sling, meeting the crystal blue gaze and touched a downy soft cheek, as two tiny fists jammed a soggy and matted stuffed lion into her mouth. Pulling the baby up close to her face, she kissed the downy soft spikes of hair, smelled the soft, clean, sweetness as she rubbed her check against the child’s. The babe reached a hand out to grasp some of her hair, and hung on tight, trapping Lisa’s face close to her own, until she could untangle the tiny fist and free herself.

“If I keep you,” she whispered to the baby, “I could go to jail, or at least have a lot of legal trouble. But I’d love you. I already do.

“If I call? You’re the one who’d suffer. Poor sweetie.”

She remembered the little girl she’d known years ago, in foster care because her mother was dying, raped by her foster father. And that social worker, the one all the foster parents had loved, who’d been molesting the parentless boys he’d been charged with protecting.

What, then, to do about the baby’s mother? CPS would at least look for her. They put those ads in the newspaper, in with the housing foreclosures, and they might go to the local TV stations and have something put on the news about the child abandoned at the department store. It seemed only fair to give the girl a chance to realize her mistake.

But her goal here was the best possible life for Angie, not to protect her mother’s rights. Would the child hate her in the future for not finding her mother? For not trying harder?

Or would it be worse to find her, for Angie to have to go back. She imagined handing her over to her mother and cringed inwardly. She thought about the grubby infant with the sweat and lint caked in the creases of her neck, the stained sleeper, of this sweet baby lying on a receiving blanket in the bottom of the hard, metal shopping cart, her belly cramping, screeching in misery. Her thoughts swirled and tumbled, roiled and churned.

“That’s it!” Lisa spoke in a loud voice, startling Angie, who began to fuss. It was done. “Oh, sorry, sweetie,” she said in a quieter tone. “It’s okay. Everything’s okay now.” Suddenly, seconds after making the most daring decision of her life so far, all her fears disappeared. Her stomach released it’s tightly held knot, her headache began to wash away. She rolled her head on her shoulders, felt the kinks relax.

“We,” she stated with love and some pride, “are going home!”
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#16 of 26 Old 09-12-2006, 05:03 PM
 
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Red,

Interesting idea. Reads pretty easily. I think that the exchange between Julie and Lisa could be more heated, more intense. I mean, your best friend is considering keeping a baby she found Seems like the dialogue between them should be a little stronger, more frantic, I don't know.

I do wonder where it's going, so that's a good sign

Judi
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#17 of 26 Old 09-13-2006, 03:38 AM
 
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Red,

I like it. I am also wondering where it's going (and where it came from). I really feel for Lisa while she's trying to decide. I mean, who wouldn't want to keep a sweet baby? I agree with Judi about the dialogue between Lisa and Julie - it could be stronger. The other thing that stuck out to me was that I felt that all the negative examples of foster care were a bit much - on the news that night, plus all of Lisa's own memories and experiences. I know that her own experience would sway her decision, but it just felt a little soapboxish to me to have all that in there. It just has a "Down with Foster Care" sort of feel, which of course would lead to her deciding to keep the baby. JMO, of course! Overall, I enjoyed reading it and felt really hooked. I liked their little bonding experience on the beach, the baby grabbing hold of her hair. Do we get to read more?

ETA: I dug out my screenplay last night and started reading through it for the first time in over four years.....major HEADACHE. I don't really even know where/how to start. It's going to be awhile before I have anything to post.

~Beth, mama to two amazing girls, ages 12 and 6~

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#18 of 26 Old 09-13-2006, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input! I tried to put the first 5 chapters on my site, so you could see where it 'was coming from', but keep losing the formatting, making it very hard to read. I've done it before, just can't remember how!: Anyone know?

FiestaBeth, why not just try the first two pages or so? Post them when you feel like it, and someone's bound to give you some helpful advice.

It's not going to be much of a 'Novel Buddies Group' if I'm the only buddy putting up my novel!!!
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#19 of 26 Old 09-13-2006, 11:11 AM
 
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Alright, *deep breath* here goes. My character is twilight girl. Her name is Peri, and she desperately wants to be creative, but feels that all her attempts are substandard, not good enough. I think I'm going in the direction of magical realism. She tries and tries, only to find her best ideas pop up elsewhere a year later or two, as a book, or a movie or a song.

This novel will be her journey to discovering that she is, in fact, a muse. It is not for her to create her own things, her purpose is to generate ideas and inspire others. So, she will discover that she is infinitely creative, she is the source. But, no one will ever know she is the source. Anyway, my dilemna here is whether this should be told from the first person or the third person. I'm practically cold with sweat from my nerves. I am so hesitant to put this out there. But, Red says that just putting it up here is de facto copywriting it, so, here goes ... I look forward to comments

Chapter One

“Take this pink ribbon off my eyes,
I’m exposed, and it’s no big surprise
Don’t you think I know exactly where I stand,
This world is forcing me to hold your hand.

‘Cause, I’m just a girl, oh little old me,
Well don’t let me out of your sight,
Oh, I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite,
So don’t let me have any rights.

Oh, I’ve had it up to here!”


I sat up abruptly, shocked out of what would otherwise have been a deep, dreaming sleep. Although the radio was turned down enough so that the music wouldn’t really be enough to wake me up when it switched on, the song rang and burned in my ears. Hearing the lyrics, I heaved myself out of bed. Heavy with sleep, my legs were unprepared for the weight of my body being thrust upon them at such an appalling hour. I dragged myself across the cool floor in a tangle of sheets and legs and arms to the shoebox hidden deep with the bags of shoes for donation and dirty clothes waiting for laundry day to roll around again. I flung the lid from the box and began to dig in the papers concealed inside, searching for .... Shit! Which one was it? Not awake yet, and without benefit of a cup of caffeine, I waited for the memory to solidify in my fuzzy soft thoughts.

I curled my fingers around the yellow legal pad page just as the DJ called out from the radio that I was hearing the new song from No Doubt.

“No Doubt, my ass!” I shouted to my empty apartment. “More like my song, you mean”

Well, that really was a ridiculous thought, wasn’t it? How would No Doubt have stolen a song that had never made it anywhere but from the legal pad to the shoebox? “Still,” I thought, “weird.” As I read the lines I had written a year or two before, I pulled my quilt around me and remembered the evening I had sat in a bar, and pulled out a legal pad and pencil and started writing the words. The same words that No Doubt had just now sang to me from the beat up, yard-sale radio, not quite verbatim, but close. In fact, I had never really imagined mine as a song so much as a ranting poem. Or maybe really red, angry graffiti sprayed on a wall somewhere.

Strange. Strange way to start the day. Even though it was hours before I would normally be out of bed, I decided to go for it anyway. Morning was not really my thing, but what the hell. Couldn’t hurt to shake things up a little once in awhile. Besides, I thought I would call Neil and see what he thought. He would probably still be up from the night before. Caffeine in hand, sleep shade pushed up on my forehead and black hair poking out from it at undignified angles, I pulled the creased yellow page with penciled words in front of me and picked up the phone to dial.

“Hello?” asked a voice from the other end. “Helloooooooo? Peri?”

“Neil?” I asked the phone.

“Hey! Did you just hear that? No Doubt on the radio?” His thick Scottish accent made it difficult for almost anyone who spoke English to understand him. But I had known him so long now, I could make out about every second or third word.

“Hey. Did you... I was just calling you. What do you mean did I hear it?” I demanded. I really didn’t expect that he would remember a poem I had scrawled out in pencil in a bar one night, and sheepishly handed to him the next day. “Well, what do you think?” I flinched at the anticipation of the answer. Neil took great care, it seemed, to conceal anything that might belie his St. Andrews degree in Classics. He painstakingly maintained a thoroughly disheveled dress, and his hair was wont to be blue or purple or sometimes just absent. Neil, I knew, would be brutally honest. But more than that, he had the education to back it up.

“Certainly not classical,” he began. “Raw emotion, makes a point. This would rock as a song, you know?”
************************************************** *******
That's as far as I've gone so far. Really hung up on the first vs. third person.
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#20 of 26 Old 09-13-2006, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I like it! (and good for you being so brave!) Lots of the 5 senses, (which I can never get)

The last line confused me...it WAS a song, right? So Neil wouldn't say it would rock as a song.

1st or 3rd? Hmm, you seem to have a good handle on 1st. It reads well and I felt I had a good picture of the people involved, so I'd stick with that.

I'd move the song to just after the second line, let Peri hear it, then give us the words. But that's strictly my opinion.

So, lets have more???
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#21 of 26 Old 09-13-2006, 11:29 AM
 
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Oh, Red, thank you. It was scary up there on the butcher block! Hmm, I think I'll need some kind of separation to show when she is flashing back. Neil's comment that it would rock as a song is part of flashing back to when she wrote it and showed it to him way back when.

Good idea about moving the lyrics. I guess I keep picturing this as a movie, and we would hear the song at the same time she does. But, for a novel, you might be right. I'll tinker with that, and work on some more for the next installment.

As you can see I was pacing the floor and checking for comments every 15 seconds or so My husband has been on me for some time to just freaking do it. I think this buddy group will be just the pressure/inspiration that I need

Thanks!
Judi
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#22 of 26 Old 09-13-2006, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey, Tgirl, I know just how scary it is! Do you think I don't check out MY posts every few minutes? The first few are terrifying, then you chill and realize that not everyone will like what you write. And if they don't, TOO BAD.

Write so you like it. DOn't move the lyrics yet. Wait and think it over, ask for other opinions.

I see that it was meant to flashback to Neils thoughts on her poem now. You do need to make that clearer, but as you get into it, a way to do it will evolve.

And YK, maybe you're writing a screenplay!??
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#23 of 26 Old 09-13-2006, 04:00 PM
 
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Comments:

Twilight girl: Interesting hook, builds suspense. Maybe fewer adjectives, and a little more panic? Confusion?

Red: Wow...great hook! I really wonder where it is going. I agree with Twilight Girl: although I feel the emotion, everyone does seem pretty matter-of-fact. Maybe more tension?

BelovedK: I like the idea, haven't spent much time with the fantasy/historic genre, which I think is what you're aiming for. I would simplify the writing somewhat. Throw in some shorter sentences, reduce the adjectives somewhat. That said, I know that those genres tend to be a bit more descriptive.

Ok, my novel. It's a children's novel set in a beach cabin. Two girls, Marina and Sarah, make friends. They're 9 and 10. They spend the summer trying to figure out why a local boy (Anthony) disappeared 20 years ago. They decide that an old woman who lives in a cabin on the beach is evil and had something to do with his disappearance. They find many clues to his disappearance, including a journal that outlines his thoughts and plans up to the day he disappeared. As they discover near the end, the woman is actually Anthony's mother.

Marina is a very bossy and insecure character whose mother left her with her grandmother when she was very young. Her grandmother recently died, and she has come with her aunt to the beach cabins. Sarah is there with her mother, who is trying to create art, leaving Sarah on her own. The story is told from Sarah's perspective.

The other part is magic realism. There is a character called the storymaker, a woman who lives under the sea and spins the stories of the people who visit the cabins. She comes to people in dreams and influences what they do. Her dreams convinced Anthony to row into the ocean in a storm and dive in, to become a seal. She visits Sarah and Marina in dreams as well.

I don't write chronologically, so I'll post bits and pieces. That's why I've given a summary...so you're not hopelessly confused. I tend to be way stronger on description than on action and dialogue.

Ok, here are the dreams that Sarah and Marina have when they visit the storymaker.

Marina’s Dream

Marina is walking along the beach. Far off in the distance, there is an odd lump – a figure, perhaps? She moves closer. There is an old woman, spinning. Her hair is the color of kelp, and knotted. Her skin drowns in wrinkles. She spins intently, moving kelp from a pile beside her, pressing it into threads.

“What are you doing?” asks Marina.

The woman does not answer, but bends closer over her work.

“Excuse me,” says Marina. “I think I’m lost. Can you tell me how to get home?” This is odd, because she knows she is not lost. In fact, the rocky shore is close behind her.

The woman stops, and looks.

“This is yours,” she says, pointing to a small pile of kelp sitting on the sand. “Spin.”

“But won’t I, might I hurt myself?” asks Marina.

“That is not you,” says the woman. “That is someone else’s story.”

Marina walks to the pile of kelp and examines it. It’s small and brownish green. Small bugs hop about on its surface, exposed to the light. She kneels to touch it. As her fingers touch the first piece, the pile shifts, then bursts apart. Hummingbirds, rainbow-hued, fly around her. The kelp is gone.

The old woman jumps up. “Catch them! Catch them!” she yells. Armed with a net, she dips and swoops, but the birds fly on. “Catch them!”

The birds are gone, as is the pile of kelp. The woman resumes her spinning, not even out of breath.

“What shall I do now?” asks Marina. “I have nothing to spin.”

The woman stares at Marina, her eyebrows raised. “You must start from the beginning. Air and water. Sunlight and sand.”

And Marina wakes.


Sarah’s Dream

In Sarah’s dream, she is walking up the cliff path. As she rounds the corner, through the trees she sees a glimpse of blue, of purple, of gold. Not the colors of the forest – not this forest, anyway.

She reaches out her hand to pull apart the branches. There is a rope, crafted from all the colors of the rainbow. It teases her, drifting just out of reach. Below is the deep blue ocean.

Sarah jumps and stretches her arms to grab her arms to grab the rope. She swings out, high over the ocean. Then the rope disappears. She falls towards the water. She hits gently, almost floating, and looks around.

She is on a boat in the middle of a storm.

The waves swell. The ocean reaches over her. In the distance, the waves pound the shore.

She gasps, sucking in salt water, and feels her body begin to change. She is a seal, bouyant now. She dives beneath the storm, into the kelp, searching. Searching for what? She hears a voice, singing. Sarah looks below, and there she sees an old woman spinning. The woman rocks back and forth in time with the waves. Her hair flows like kelp behind her, as her fingers fly. As Sarah moves closer, the old woman looks up. A wide smile cracks her face. “Welcome,” she says.

As the dream begins to fade, Sarah can feel the woman’s arms around her, warm and strong. Strange, she thinks, for an ocean this cold to have arms this warm.

And she awakens.

Tricia, treehugger.gif wild.gif geek.gif mama of dd (6) 

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#24 of 26 Old 09-13-2006, 10:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I love childrens books!

It's hard to get a feel for your 'voice' from a dream sequence! They were both strange, in a good way.

Normally, I'd want to know why the old woman wanted to catch the birds, or want a clearer idea of what you meant by "Air and water. Sunlight and sand"....but in a dream, you rarely know the specifics, so it's fine.

It's simple to read, easy to follow, has a good flow. I think the dialogue is fine.

If Kelly were here...(Where ARE you Kelly???) she'd be looking for more sensory info. I actually thought of her while reading it. Do they smell or hear in the dreams? I think it would add to it, but it's my weak spot so I can't imagine WHERE to put it.

It would help to have more of it to read!










BTW, in my novel Julie has already freaked out, and this is sometime later...a week or more.
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#25 of 26 Old 09-14-2006, 12:09 AM
 
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Yes, it is hard to get things from dream sequences - I need to shape up the rest and put it in order, see what I have.

Good point about the other senses. That would make it richer, I'd say.

I'm going to pick up on some of the weird "bits" later on.

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#26 of 26 Old 09-14-2006, 10:16 AM
 
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Tricia,

Cool idea. I like the dreams, and I assume that the threads you left hanging there will be picked up later on in what the girls do. Only critique, girls' sounded too gramatically correct for nine and 10 yrs. old. That said, I don't know what period or place your story is set in, so it might be fine. They just sounded rather grown up for 9 and 10. Otherwise good start!
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