Monday, January 26, 2009

Off the deep end, into the novel

My chapters are too long to finish in one class. When we started meeting in Pam’s condo I was the timekeeper, the stopwatch operator when I remember to turn it on!). I unabashedly snuck in a few extra seconds (I lie, it was extra minutes) for myself. I thought for sure everyone noticed, several subtle inquiries later, I remained devoid of any disclosures from classmates that they were aware of my deceit. When I finally completely confessed to Mel, at a pre-read, which advanced me further and faster with her focused attention and recommendations, she said with all sincerity, “I had no idea.” Now, was she just being polite? Who cares? I got away with it! I plan to name a character after Mel -- the one who gives good advice, Kerri Ann’s counselor, this will be tribute to Mel’s deft hand at breathing life into a dull scene, and that ever clever brush of humor that adds the color to the sunset of a scene. But the counselor is in Part II, and we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves…and we have to keep an eye on the girls, they’re going out drinking.

Scene: Chloe, Sandy and Kerri Ann go out to dinner, savor a sunset drink by the pool, then with their 'tipsy' on get their nerve up to hunt handsome men in the bar.

“What are you looking at?” Chloe asked and pulled away from my shoulder. "Oh. Not what…who.”
I felt her nudge Sandy.
I pick him,” I said.
Then it happened. The Korean motioned us over.
“Do you already know him?” Chloe asked surprised.
“No,” I whispered. “But I want to.”
(A Single Pearl, Chapter One).

Icons: plus sign ‘+’ to denote good, minus ‘-’ not, and a ‘?’ for obvious.

Ginger: like the beer dialogue, fun. Kissing talk, move on. Really enjoy the girls night out, very fun and believable. Great end to the chapter. Neat ‘Lee Lee.’

Kelly: +scrubbed fresh and lightly fragranced,’ description of matching old couples, girl talk--good humor, good end of chapter.

Lisa: why/how did she happen upon him at gift shop? I like idea of stealing book from old man. +“…because I wanted it…” reference to kiss. Sandy’s used to clean up -- good showing of her character, + gate closing and locking into place.

Melanie: + sandals and socks, tuition comment, all three sighed at 7th grade kiss, good description of cold on sunburned arms, Sandy--clean up after.

Pam: + ‘doors of…flew open,‘ wonderful light touches of humor, heir nymph--good play on words. I liked the part about ‘doing things in the dark’ -- especially since readers know about her being naked in front of her hubby’s family in the future. Great chapter ending sentence.

Peggy: +nice details (like: ‘my eyes not fully adjusted’). I love how you bring up deep thoughts in a humorous way! (i.e., kissing…etc.). Great interactions with friends, fun! Keeps us reading. ‘Felt awkward and shy’ ß could use different words to show better. Joke about Lee’s name.

Sallee: great description of envy/jealousy. I’m not sure where this is headed, or what they want. Is this a romance novel? Emphasis on plot. More about her depression last chance to see friends? Goal to get away from the doldrums? Added a sentence to help contribute to the sense of Kerri Ann’s depression

EDITS: and how the trip to Hawaii played into her escape; after several edits (it feels more attune to hundreds), reworked the entire ‘meeting scene,’ threw half out and honed it down to a sweeter, simple essence.

What never changed is that after meeting Kerri Ann, Lee dove off the deep end -- of the pool. An obvious metaphor, but so fun, and she’ll remind of us that in the Epilogue, and why she concludes he wasn’t as cool, calm and in control as he seemed to appear at the moment.


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