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Sorry about that last entry, I forgot to make it Friends only at first. It is now!

And go the Kiwis at the Olympics. We're doing well in the rowing, five firsts and two seconds in seven races. I am so impressed with that. Gutsy showing.

And it's so cold. Our friends just walked!!! down to share some wine (and port and coffee) with us after dinner, and arrived in big coats, gloves, beanies and strong shoes! And they were very wet! They both work with cancer patients, one as an oncologist and one as a hospice GP, and it's been hard lately, a lot of younger people dying, in their 30s and 40s. It's frustrating if they work and work but just can't cure people who have so much living still to do. I'm so lucky to have such amazing friends. They're Finn's godparents even though they're not Catholic. No way would I choose any Catholic over them, either. I can't think of better people.

I might fill up a hot water bottle tonight. It's so cold! We don't have any heating in the bedroom part of the house either. Brrrr! No central heating around here. We just wear more pyjamas.

I'm still working on Safe. My writing course lady wants me to make all of it from Keeley's point of view, even though it's in the 3rd person. I can see what she means but it'd mean rephrasing a lot of stuff, like when I include what Anna's feeling, or David or Mickey or Lucas. She thinks it gets too confusing unless I do it in separate chapters or something like that. The jury is still out on that one. I don't mind thinking about it. I love working with Keeley and David as they are so close to me! Like such very special friends and almost me really, in two parts. I was wondering if I ought to take some of the Europe out of the story, get Keeley out of Wiesbaden and move him back to NZ. But I did like the Euro flavour. Because I'd been to Wiesbaden twice, it felt so very familiar, the Bahnhof, Luisenstrasse, the mall, Nederburg, the Rhine, the Roman ruins, Mainz, Frankfurt, all that. I dunno. I don't feel the same now. I might just not touch that bit for a while. Just leave it alone. Work on the Kiwi bits before next month's class. Yeah.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
moth2fic
Aug. 9th, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC)
Your writing course lady is talking through the back of her neck.

This is your novel, not the one she wishes she had written. There was absolutely nothing confusing about the current way the novel is written (other than the need for the Kiwi glossary!).

Also, on no account should you remove the European bits - they give a flavour of Keeley's work and the things that have affected him, and are a wonderful contrast to the NZ sections. And without them, the ending won't work.

Because you are writing in third person, you can give different p.o.vs in the same chapter - none of the novel is 'third person intimate' and I think it might spoil it to try to alter it to that extent. OK, so you have the narrator's voice (your own)dominating but that's OK, too. The reader wants to know how the others felt and the only other ways to do that are either different chapters (clumsier than the present way) or a lot of dialogue which might well sound a bit artificial. You could add more dialogue, but not to alter the p.o.v., just to expand some of the scenes if you wanted to.

She'd probably say the same thing to Jane Austen - possibly just to have something to say!

What are her 'credentials'? What sort of books has she written? Not that being a published writer necessarily makes her more able to judge your work. She should focus on anything you want advice on, and any parts you feel aren't 'right'.

Honestly, Jenny, she can't teach you to write. Your writing is already above the standard of a lot of published books. You need the class for contact with other writers, to share hopes and fears, to find out about publishing, to find out how other people cope with full time jobs and the writing bug, etc. That's why you signed up. Don't forget!!
natesmountain
Aug. 12th, 2008 07:08 am (UTC)
Hey there, Mothy. Sorry, I've been away on a conference for a couple of days.
So. What you said. Gosh, thank you! You are very affirming.

-This is your novel, not the one she wishes she had written. There was absolutely nothing confusing about the current way the novel is written (other than the need for the Kiwi glossary!)...The reader wants to know how the others felt and the only other ways to do that are either different chapters (clumsier than the present way) or a lot of dialogue which might well sound a bit artificial.
I wonder if you can just put a glossary at the front of a story!
And yeah, it's MY novel. You're right. I looked at what she was thinking of, and although she has a point, I actually WANT to get inside other people's heads sometimes, to get a look at Keeley, and I don't want to create another whole chapter just for the occasional glimpse of Keels from someone else. When Mickey thinks about him, or Sarah down by the river, or even David sometimes, it just shifts, and maybe that's just the way I write!! She's quite demanding though, expecting me to change it...

-Also, on no account should you remove the European bits - they give a flavour of Keeley's work and the things that have affected him, and are a wonderful contrast to the NZ sections. And without them, the ending won't work.
True, the whole ending would have to change, huh. And I did so enjoy recreating our visits to Wiesbaden.

-She should focus on anything you want advice on, and any parts you feel aren't 'right'.
That'd be nice. But she has her opinion... she has written quite a few books, but I haven't actually read any of them. I had better get on with it, huh. This is her
http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/writers/cherryfrances.html

She isn't as friendly looking in real life *g*

-Honestly, Jenny, she can't teach you to write. Your writing is already above the standard of a lot of published books.
Thank you! Wow. With all the massive amount of books you're reviewing at the moment, that makes me feel good *g*
moth2fic
Aug. 12th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
I think your best bet is to be quite assertive about what you want and what your characters want. Then look at other ways to make the p.o.v. clear to any reader - it might be something as simple as an extra line break between sections of a chapter.

You can put a glossary anywhere you want - if it's at the back, refer to it in an author's note at the front. Or you could use footnotes. Whatever!

I looked at her info - she sounds competent but she still isn't able to be a final judge of your story, unless she's a publisher, and even then, she's only one. She's given an opinion but that's all it is and as she says herself, don't get upset by feedback. Don't feel you always have to respond to it, either. One of the yahoo group found some fantastic blogs by agents and publishers which I hope she's going to summarise for the group. One of them made me see why I was stuck on one aspect of the plot I'm currently wrestling with - I was trying to respond to the wishes of a reader.

She has already said you're good, and a challenge. I'm sure she's desperately looking for something to say!!! :) Yes, you're definitely better than some of the stuff I've been reviewing. I hope you get a chance to read my reviews though I respect the fact that you won't have time to comment - and really, comments like 'thanks for the review' (to which I then have to reply), are a waste of time for someone as busy as you!

Use the class for what you can get out of it (and perhaps for what you may find you have to give others) and stand up for yourself!! She'll respect you for that. Also, ask about things like publishing issues, which she really can advise you on. See what she has to say about the publisher we warned you off. Her response might be useful for everybody.
natesmountain
Aug. 13th, 2008 08:25 am (UTC)
-You can put a glossary anywhere you want - if it's at the back, refer to it in an author's note at the front. Or you could use footnotes.
Oh, I like the idea of footnotes! That'd be easy for a reader!

-I hope you get a chance to read my reviews
Oh Liz, so do I. I find though that I would want to read the books and I'll never get time to do that, for who knows how long... but I will try, I really like your reviews.

-See what she has to say about the publisher we warned you off.
She definitely said don't pay any money to anyone, because someone else asked about that kind of issue.

-and as she says herself, don't get upset by feedback. Don't feel you always have to respond to it, either.
I'm learning to just nod without opening my big mouth! It's a huge learning curve for me but it's a valuable lesson ;-)
moth2fic
Aug. 13th, 2008 08:31 am (UTC)
I find though that I would want to read the books

Hee! A lot of them are 'not recommended', not being up to the same standard as you!!

I'm learning to just nod without opening my big mouth! It's a huge learning curve for me but it's a valuable lesson ;-)

Knowing when to keep quiet is part of being assertive. Or you can use comments like, 'Thank you, I'll think about that.'
natesmountain
Aug. 13th, 2008 11:26 am (UTC)
-Knowing when to keep quiet is part of being assertive.
You're so right. I've been watching people for a while now, and learning how right that is, the art of not answering straight away. I find it really hard but I wish I'd learnt it a couple of years ago.

-Or you can use comments like, 'Thank you, I'll think about that.'
*squee* that's just what I say now!!!

-Hee! A lot of them are 'not recommended', not being up to the same standard as you!!
*blush* I wish!! I think if I keep working on Safe until I'm heading for the rest home, it'll be a wonderful novel *g* and it's okay now, but I keep thinking of better words, better phrasing, little tiny things. I guess that's just an addiction I have to get over, walk away... start the sequel *giggle*
microjotz
Aug. 10th, 2008 09:00 am (UTC)
I like it the way it is...so dont take Wiesbaden out,it is so part of the story.
Writing professionals will always tell you " write what you know" ..and you did ! And it shows....you cant write like you did about Europe from looking at pictures..you capture the atmosphere.So...dont remove it.
natesmountain
Aug. 12th, 2008 07:12 am (UTC)
-I like it the way it is...so dont take Wiesbaden out,it is so part of the story.
Wow, thank you. I did so love revisiting Wiesbaden by writing about it. I've spent over a week there, twice, three years apart, and I really loved the place. It was even more fun creating it because I knew someone there, but it turned out to have bad karma, that.
-will always tell you " write what you know" ..and you did ! And it shows....you cant write like you did about Europe from looking at pictures..you capture the atmosphere.So...dont remove it.
Gosh, thank you. You are kind. I did feel like I was back there when I was writing about it. I'll have to send you my 'even more final' edited version some time! I think it's even better writing now... I'll probably still be changing it when I turn 90!
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