Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Year 1, Week 10: Results!

We're going to do something a little different today. Hold onto your hat, Hephzibah! (Okay, Hagar!)


M T Decker and Firdaus

with Cut Throat and Character Tantrums
Cut Throat 
"You know, smiling at me every few days… it’s not the same as telling me you aren’t going to kill me…" Penelope sighed as she wiped the sweat from her forehead. 
“I’m disappointed to her you say that,” Rogers sighed. “You should know me well enough by now…” 
Penelope looked at him from over her glasses as if to say, ‘Dude, I do know you more than ‘well enough’ by now.’ 
He gave her a sheepish shrug. “I promise you. When I plan on killing you— you’ll know.” 
“This,” she told him. “Is not nearly as comforting as you might think… Try phrases like: ‘I have no intention of killing you’ or ‘You know I’d never hurt you…’ Phrases like that build confidence.” 
“But you know, I’ll never lie to you…” 
Penelope sighed and shook her head. “You have a lot to learn about ‘comforting.’” 
“This is war. They didn’t call it ‘See how many cards you can take nicely.’” 
“Fine,” she sighed. “Got any threes?”

“Go Fish!”

Si: Great character interaction in this story! We get the sense that we, the readers, are just looking in through a window while the scene proceeds between Penelope and Rogers. I particularly like the line: “Penelope looked at him from over her glasses as if to say, ‘Dude, I do know you more than ‘well enough’ by now.’ ” The line that follows is chilling in its casualness. I was amused that the story ends on a different tone with Go Fish. I was a little confused as to whether the characters are spies on opposite sides … (okay I might be reading a little TOO many spy novellas but HUSH) … or whether this was just a really, really intense game of cards. Is the death threat real or figurative? I’m going with real. Love that we have a nice, clear sketch of two characters in such a short span of words. Great story!

Mars: I was amused by how what Penelope and Rogers were doing was obscured until the very last few lines. My favorite line was Rogers' comment--"I promise you. When I plan on killing you--you'll know." The first few sentences were a little weak--maybe it was the sighing from the both of them, or the open-ended sentences (the ellipses), but they could have been more grabbing. (Si and I speculated if they were spies from enemy sides and possible lovers (or whether it was just a really intense card game, which I guessed it was). It amused us; observe titles we came up with for a novel: Romeo and Juliet: Card Edition; Ace of Hearts; etc.,.) An amusing story!

Character Tantrums
"Smiling at me every few days is not the same as telling me you're not going to kill me." She mutters under her breath, loud enough for me to hear. 
I stand in the doorway watching her, trying my best to smile.

"Do you have any idea what you have done?" My smile wavers a little.

"You want me to read that list you gave me? I know it by heart." 
"I see, you still believe I made up those things." 
"I did not put Margo into the washing machine! Okayyyy...I was really angry when she scratched and tore my lovely sofa but I didn't switch on the machine! I swear!" 
"You burnt my books!" 
"It wasn't me! I love books, though I was curious about that cabinet you kept locked. I was a little angry when I couldn't break in. But I wouldn't burn your study. No way!" 
"Look at your hand!" 
"Yeah, it hurts. You shouldn't have broken it!" 
"You really believe that, don't you? You don't remember throwing a tantrum and punching walls?" 
"Ha! You're such a liar, all writers are." 
"Whatever you say and do—you're not in my next book." 
I watch her face flush with anger as I gently shut the door and turn the key. 
Maybe I should kill her. A few sentences and she'd be gone. Somehow that seems such a waste of a complex character and to be honest I am rather fond of her. 
I whistle as I go off to explore other rooms in my head. I have a book to write, damn it!

Si: Woohoo, dialogue! I like how the piece doesn’t “give away” the true nature of the encounter--a writer and their character--until the end. The first half she just seems totally cray until you hit “All writers” and then we’re all OH I GET IT NOW. These two sentences are the best in the piece: 
"Whatever you say and do—you're not in my next book." 
I watch her face flush with anger as I gently shut the door and turn the key.
And IMO, I think the story is much stronger if it ends there. The following sentences tell us what we already know from the dialogue. I do like the idea of many rooms in a writer’s head. Well done!

Mars: There are only a few people I know of that don't envision their characters in their head (or hear them, heh), but I'm not one of them, so this was an entertaining story that I could connect to. I enjoy stories that are carried mainly by dialogue, but this one was a tad confusing for me--I could have done with some tags ('s/he said's). It was amusing to see how the writer was convincing her she had consciously done these things. Nice story!

Yup, you both get it, lucky ducks.
See you two next week!

1 comment:

  1. Thankyou Si and Mars. One thing I like about this is how you tell us what is great about the story and what are the weaknesses. I love that, makes me think. You give me ideas I didn't have before. It's a great help for beginners like me. Thanx again. :)