Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Re-Writes and Reach Readers

I've just completed ANOTHER re-write of Chapter 2! That's right. Another one. I think I've finally gotten all of the rough patches ironed out, though. There were several pieces that just didn't fit as nicely as I'd liked them to. There was either too big of an idealogical leap between paragraphs or there was too much information in too few words or missing information that would need to be in place before we take on Claire's next chapter. In any event, I've gone over it all again, word by word, aloud, and it's a much nicer read now. There are a few sentences that I can feel David's influence in. They're too highly styled and verbose. But I like allowing Claire the occasional lush observation. She has the ability to comment on so many things that David just doesn't notice.

Updates on the Reach Readers group: Three of my first readers and I were discussing the first two chapters over dinner this holiday weekend when a friend overhead and commented that he'd love to read and critique what I've written. He's involved in professional theatre, and I've seen several of his short plays performed. I was alway very impressed with his stage writing ability, so I decided that his opinion would be really valuable. I just never knew he'd be interested in being a part of Project Reach, or I would have invited him sooner! He has just posted his comments and they're terribly insightful. He finds Claire 'insufferably boring' and I can't say as I disagree with him. I'm hoping that I can keep enough interest in her chapters through the intervention of MarLo and Decker until we get to the meat of her story, but it's a tall order. Claire is dull. One of my female readers is annoyed by Claire because she perceives Claire to be a control freak. This is possibly a problem. I was intending to illustrate Claire's great capacity for compassion and possibly her potential for strong leadership in her debut chapter, not her need to step in and control everyone's lives. But then, Claire is all about control. Self-control. I'll have to keep a careful eye on how I convey Claire's concerns so that Claire isn't misunderstood by the reader. All excellent feedback!

My theatre reader's comments on The Deck:
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading about the deli. EASILY my favorite part thus far. I want to spend the whole story there. Hell, I want to spend a DAY there. It's a character in itself! How unique a place like this is. In just a few short passages we get an entire history of the place, and each little tidbit was more interesting and entertaining than the last. It's a great frame for snippets of action, and allows you to do some great things with mood simply by changing songs - which you've done already! It's such a creative set piece, and I'm really impressed.
I, personally, thought the inception of The Deck was a masterstroke, but I'm biased beyond belief. It's very validating to have someone recognize your good ideas for what they are and very useful to have someone able to draw your attention to the areas that need to brought up to the high standards of those good ideas.

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