February Critique, wherein monsters and magic reign

Two pieces were presented for review this week, both part of ongoing W’sIP. [I like that – wees in pee!]

The first critique focussed on the presentation of the power moments of the scene/s and the character in action and the placement of things and people – you guessed it: the whole gamut of how to get the right feel in the right place at the right time. And clearing up the repetitions.

The second critique focussed on trying to find the reaction to the [where did they go?] character actions. And the repetitions. And the placement of power moments and the placement of people and things – oh, hey! You guessed it: first/second drafts that need to focus on the purpose and progression.

But it was fun and a great learning process.

And in the middle of the discussion, one of our members (the one with the broken wrist and the great story about subterranean beasties that lift the pavement in heaves of discomfort (see the real thing at the museum – yes, they’re real! Diprotodons[?]!) when they try to scratch that itch) had to get the help of the trauma nurse who noticed how we couldn’t help get the funny-looking not-quite-cotton thing – oh, a sling! –  around her neck and arm to hold it in place with a small measure of comfort. Thanks, Danielle, it was wonderful to see the character Adelaide come forth again.

Which started another conversation. ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.’  No, Danielle didn’t look funny – it was the issue of how people in Adelaide are really helpful and how much they go out of their way to offer assistance.

And the conversation moved onto the people we’d met, or heard about, who were not what you would expect an angel to look like, but were nevertheless, angels who helped people in trouble. It’s people who can’t be judged by the covers, not the books, because if a book can’t be judged by its cover, how is the reader going to figure out what it’s about?

The words of  the story introduce the reader to the broad sweeps of the story, just like a painting. They get a view into the world of the story. They see a picture. Or they should. And the cover is part of that introduction to story; it should allow itself to be judged by the way the writer dresses it for presentation to the world. When it comes to people, the saying (adage) may ring true, but for the book and story, it is the opposite – it will always be judged by the first few flickers of the picture that is generated.

Yes, I’m still talking about story with words. Story creates a world for the reader to become part of, to live in, to breathe and sing and dance – it’s real, and it only becomes real when the word-pictures are deep, compelling; when the reader is drawn into the spell (your) story creates for them.

Anyway, next meeting is all about people: Character, how things change, how the person grows and learns though the things they suffer (what we put them through, but it’s alright – we don’t feel a thing). See you then.


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