Chat log for August 15, 2005

[bogwitch64] Hey, does anyone here watch Survivor?

[anneliese] Really wild storms. Bunches of down/broken trees. Roads closed. A reall mess this morning.

[DaveK] Not me but my wife

[anneliese] Don't watch it.

[Elizabeth] No...I don't watch much network TV.

[Elizabeth] are you all right, Anneliese? Was the damage bad by you?

[bogwitch64] I've never watched it myself but I'm going to this year. My daughter's best friend (my 'son' by years of friendship) is one of the contestants

[anneliese] We were fine. Storm was scary, but no damage in our immediate neighborhood. Next neighborhood over...entirely different matter.

[bogwitch64] If he wins a million dollars, I better get a present for all the dinners I made and games of clue, Trivial pursuit and Scrabble

[Elizabeth] Absolutely. Smiling

[bogwitch64] It's that bad by you, huh A??? Wow. Nothing like that here

[anneliese] We'll root for him, in a virtual-kind of way Smiling

[bogwitch64] No where near

[bogwitch64] lol A

[Elizabeth] Glad you're all right, Anneliese.

[DaveK] It will be interesting to see how/if his personality changes for the game.

[bogwitch64] I'm interestede in seeing that myself

[Elizabeth] I'll be pulling for him to win, Terri.

[bogwitch64] I saw the clips--it's so weird

[bogwitch64] Thanks E

[DaveK] I see that my next "story" made it out today.

[DaveK] This comes with a disclaimer up front.

[Elizabeth] Yep. I'm ahead of the curve for once. Smiling

[bogwitch64] I didn't get it

[Elizabeth] I even made my son's lunch this evening.

[bogwitch64] I mean I didn't get the mailing

[Elizabeth] I just sent it out a few minutes ago, Terri. Let me know if you haven't gotten it by the end of the chat.

[DaveK] How recent did you send it out E?

[bogwitch64] Oh, ok

[bogwitch64] It's on my aol account

[anneliese] I just got it...of course we're on the same mail server.

[DaveK] Sinkholes come out next?

[DaveK] Or Juanita?

[DaveK] Sorry, Juanita was last week.

[Elizabeth] I believe Sinkholes come out next week.

[bogwitch64] OOOO! I just saw a trailer for 'The Brother's Grimm'

[bogwitch64] looks FUN

[bogwitch64] Juanita was last week?? I thought she's the 22nd

[bogwitch64] or is that a new one?

[Elizabeth] It does. In a warped Terry Gilliam way, of course.

[DaveK] Last week I brought Analog, Asimov;s and F&SF. Came home and three mags I subscribe to were there.

[bogwitch64] Yes, yes yes!!!

[Elizabeth] I sent out Juanita's sub last week. Critiques are due the 22nd, so the date she's officially assigned to is 8/22.

[Elizabeth] It's confusing at first, but you'll get used to it. Smiling

[bogwitch64] ok, gotcha

[DaveK] That always trips me up too. I think of the send out data as the "date" of the critique

[DaveK] Hi Chris

[bogwitch64] Hey Chris

[anneliese] Hi CM

[camidon] Good Evening

[anneliese] (sorry, I'm distracted...trying to sort out a FTP problem for someone)

[DaveK] I know how that goes. I was working on an email problem all day.

[Elizabeth] hi CM!

[DaveK] Chris, thanks for the critique.

[camidon] Oh, good, you got it, dave, When I sent out Juanita's, my email was wonking out so at least that worked

[camidon] oh, your welcome Angel

[DaveK] We talked about it last week. I'm probably going to redo it as a short without the two guys in the bar talking about it.

[anneliese] (back...until the next email shows up)

[camidon] Like the title of your new submission, dave. Wish I could have made the previous chat.

[DaveK] The protagonist is being investigated by the SEC which is both the Securities Excahnge Commision and the Superverse Entanglement Control

[Elizabeth] nice combination of acronyms. Smiling

[DaveK] I hope to getsome humor into it.

[Elizabeth] Terri...when do we want to start discussing your sub?

[bogwitch64] Anytime you're ready

[bogwitch64] I actually got here for this one! LOL

[camidon] Teri, you've got a critique coming, it's in progress.

[bogwitch64] Thanks Chris. Take your time

[camidon] Thanks, I will. How's sometime in 200? Eye-wink

[camidon] oops 2006

[bogwitch64] LOL, sounds...timely

[anneliese] ...then 2007 is good for me Eye-wink

[DaveK] Terri, do you have anything published out there?

[bogwitch64] Laughing out loud

[bogwitch64] Thanks, everyone for the crits recieved

[bogwitch64] I have just one magazine short (flash) published

[camidon] no need to make me feel better at your expense Anneliese, though I appreciate the thought!

[bogwitch64] Local magazine insert

[DaveK] You a flash piece? Good thing I'm sitting down.

[bogwitch64] Oh, I emailed it to you today, Dave. Didn't get it?

[bogwitch64] LOL Dave

[DaveK] Yes, I was baiting you Eye-wink

[bogwitch64] I like to write Young Adult as well as fantasy. The flash is YA

[bogwitch64] LOL

[bogwitch64] And I bit

[camidon] Dave, this is WRITING, not fishing. Wrong chat group.

[DaveK] LOL

[bogwitch64] d'oh

[DaveK] I can write about fishing - sounds like another challenge topic.

[bogwitch64] Not another one! Nooooooooo! LOL

[anneliese] Fishing in sink holes???

[DaveK] E, how many sinkhole stories did you get?

[Elizabeth] Four total.

[DaveK] Not bad.

[DaveK] Are we supposed to be chatting about Terri's story?

[bogwitch64] I'm all ears

[camidon] Can someone send me Juanita's submission for the 22nd? I can't seem to locate it, and I think my email wonkiness deleted a handful of my emails.

[Elizabeth] I can send you a copy, CM. Just give me a minute.

[Elizabeth] brb

[anneliese] Is there anything you'd like to ask us about the sub, Terri?

[camidon] BTW, I'm warning you, my next submission will be a direct result of the sinkhole challenge. A 10k+ whopper's coming

[anneliese] Kewl!

[camidon] Thanks, Elizabeth

[bogwitch64] hmmmm...I don't think so. I got all the crits\

[anneliese] (except us delinquent ones)

[bogwitch64] Laughing out loud

[bogwitch64] Laughing out loud

[bogwitch64] there, that's better

[bogwitch64] always do the wrong smilie thing

[camidon] Yah, Anneliese has the right idea, any thoughts about your second chapter and how it fits into the bigger work?

[anneliese] Yea, never know whether to use the nose or not.

[DaveK] Very well written as I remember. Just a few nits is all I had.

[Elizabeth] I liked what you did with the setting, Terri, and with the relationships between Keith, Kate, Erin and his piggish brother.

[bogwitch64] Chris, I have the whole thing outlined and 16 chapters done

[Elizabeth] His interaction with the old woman is also very nicely done. I'm looking forward to seeing what she turns out to be.

[bogwitch64] It does fit, though the opinion seems to be it's too slow

[bogwitch64] Thanks E

[bogwitch64] Did anyone get that the old woman was the pixie thing from chapter one?

[camidon] Physical writing is very good. I never find myself stumbling over awkward constructions.

[bogwitch64] Or are the chapters two far apart to remember?

[bogwitch64] Chris, thanks

[Elizabeth] What I wanted to see, and didn't, was more of a conflict--a crisis--that will impel Keith to move forward, to take some sort of action.

[DaveK] It's slow for me, but then I watch TV with a remote in one hand and the wife in another room.

[anneliese] I suspected that she was the pixie.

[bogwitch64] LOL Dave

[Elizabeth] I figured out the old woman/pixie thing...from the teeth.

[Elizabeth] The brother going missing is a possibility, but Keith doesn't seem to be too worried about it.

[anneliese] What concerned me most was the pacing. I wondered, even, if Chapter 1 was even necessary. Ch2, seems more the beginning.

[DaveK] I missed that, but what I hate about reviewing chapters is the time lag. I forget too much between chapters.

[camidon] My basic opinion is still out. I give it two more chapters, and, if after the fourth, I'm still questioning the pace and starting place, then I'll be worried about the health of this tale.

[bogwitch64] Right now, the way I have it in my head, the 'mystery' is how these things will fit together

[Elizabeth] An instructor I had for a novel-writing course told us that, these days, a writer has about three pages to hook the reader. Possibly less. And editors have even shorter attention spans.

[bogwitch64] I think a HUGE problem with the pacing thing is the fact that these chapters come weeks apart

[bogwitch64] It's really only a few pages--not too much can happen without it being to rushed

[Elizabeth] True. It's hard to critique a novel when the chapters are sent out several weeks apart.

[bogwitch64] Sad

[anneliese] If all you chapters are this short, perhaps consider sending 2 at a time?

[anneliese] your

[bogwitch64] The first chapter is basic character interaction, character building and the first mystery of the little woman in the tree

[camidon] The questions is, when does the "mystery" become too annoying to the reader. It's a delicate balance leading the reader with mystery and causing a reader quite because it's too confusing.

[DaveK] Good idea, 2 chapters. Maybe about 5k words max.

[bogwitch64] Some are, Anneliese, some aren't

[bogwitch64] I try to write what my husband calls <pardon the imagery> potty reads

[bogwitch64] Something that can be read in a short time before work or whatever

[Elizabeth] I wanted a little more hint that big bro might be in genuine peril.

[anneliese] lol...I have to remember that one!

[bogwitch64] lol

[Elizabeth] Perhaps the hot Renaissance babe comes storming past, wondering where yon stud went to...

[bogwitch64] Actually, Keith's peril comes after other characters' peril

[DaveK] Doesn't that depend on how much fiber you've had?

[camidon] Uh oh! Watchout for the snowballing potty humor!

[anneliese] I was looking for more hints of peril also.

[Elizabeth] and Keith knows that his brother wouldn't EVER pass up an opportunity like her...

[bogwitch64] lol

[camidon] You have such a way of putting things Elizabeth. You really should be published!

[Elizabeth] Terri, avoid potty humor with this group...while we're on the subject of peril...

[bogwitch64] LOL

[bogwitch64] ok

[bogwitch64] duly noted

[anneliese] lol, Elizabeth...we're not THAT bad...are we?

[bogwitch64] Brody is the only character that doesn't get a POV

[bogwitch64] There's a reason for that--but that's not important

[Elizabeth] no, I'm just as bad an influence on the group as anybody.

[Elizabeth] Witness the squid incident...

[DaveK] Anneliese, how many chats haven't you published because of our humor?

[Elizabeth] CM, can you drop the folks at F&SF a note and tell them I should be published? Smiling

[bogwitch64] Here's where I have a problem--setting up enough without setting up too much. The story needs to be pulled along but without shortchanging the character/world building necessary for a good fantasy

[bogwitch64] sigh...

[anneliese] I'm not counting.

[camidon] "Hot Renaissance babe" Just start your story with that and you'll be published in no time!

[bogwitch64] lol

[bogwitch64] Some of those women at the Ren-faire's are so pushed up their boobs are on their shoulders

[anneliese] I guess my problem overall, is that while the first scene in Ch1, with the knife throwing was really good, but didn't do anything that I can yet see to engage the story.

[anneliese] I thought the scene in the parking lot told me more about your MD.

[anneliese] And especially the scene with the old woman.

[camidon] Terri, Have you read "Otherland" by... by... Oh, pooh, who wrote that...

[bogwitch64] What I wanted that scene to do was introduce the general feel of these characters--Ren-faire, dungeons and dragons-type geeks

[anneliese] That was very telling (in a good way).

[Elizabeth] The scene with the old woman was my favorite so far. Right after that the scene with Kate and Erin.

[bogwitch64] It was supposed to get Keith's ridiculous self confidence problem across, considering he plays the 'hero' in the game

[Elizabeth] They do a great deal to tell us about Keith...especially why we should care about him.

[bogwitch64] It was supposed to introduce Brody as the exception to the rule of geekdom

[Elizabeth] had to laugh at your description of Renaissance busts, though...I've seen a few in chainmail brassieres.

[bogwitch64] And his lust for the ladies at the expense of his brother's pride

[camidon] Ah! Tad Williams. That's who. He manages to make the confusion of a virtual world interesting. Somehow he keeps us reading for like 2000 pages. He could've written the series in half that many words, but he kept me reading nontheless.

[bogwitch64] LOL Elizabeth--hilarious, eh?

[anneliese] The way Keith handles himself with respect to Brody says everything about his self confidence...in a way, the knife scene is redundant.

[Elizabeth] And darned uncomfortable..especially in Texas in mid-June.

[Elizabeth] <--- agrees w/Anneliese. The way Keith handles himself around Brody--even around his good friends Kate and Erin--shows all that we need to know about his lack of self-confidence.

[camidon] anyway, you may want to read a little of it to contemplate pace and set-up for a novel of this type.

[bogwitch64] But without it, where is the introduction to the story? It would entail building an entirely new intro wherein the busty lass could find a way in to be the catalyst for the character dynamic of these two brothers

[bogwitch64] If not this, it would be something else

[anneliese] She could be selling turkey legs to faire goers.

[camidon] I like that first scene, Terri; I just don't know if that first scene is the best possible scene.

[bogwitch64] hmmmm...I shall have to consider

[anneliese] <==agrees with CM. I did like the scene also.

[DaveK] Don't worry too much, even me with my short attention span am willing to keep reading.

[camidon] How many chapters is it before we get "reality?"

[bogwitch64] For now, it remains the first scene. This is only the first draft, after all. Much changes after a whole novel has been finished.

[bogwitch64] reality?

[anneliese] My point is that you have a huge amount of set-up to put this chick in place, and while excellent writing, might not be entirely necessary.

[bogwitch64] Sorry, Chris, didn't get it

[bogwitch64] Gotcha, Anneliese--my downfall. Well written excess

[Elizabeth] There are all sorts of places a busty Renaissance wench could turn up...especially when she sees a likely lad.

[bogwitch64] Chris, do you mean how many chapters until they fall into the game?

[bogwitch64] so to speak

[camidon] <=====Agrees with Anneliese

[camidon] sure, I think...

[Elizabeth] Heck, you could have both the busty wench and the decrepit old woman looking for assistance.

[Elizabeth] Brody, being a horndog, "assists" the wench, while Keith helps the old woman with her much heavier boxes.

[anneliese] I'd almost like to see the two women in proximity...particularly if busty wench plays a role farther into the story.

[bogwitch64] Some of my favorite books begin with a fairly unrelated scene that has some significance to what happens later on. As a matter of fact, the book I'm reading right now started with a beheading that pretty much introduced the world and a few of the main characters through this beheading.

[bogwitch64] It's kind of what I was trying to do with this--just a scene to set the stage

[bogwitch64] Chris--the 'fantasy' characters bring the game to the real world for a few chapters before it goes into the other world

[DaveK] We're only 3300 words into the book. You have a couple of thousand to get to some conflict.

[bogwitch64] The only role the assistant plays is as a foible between the brothers

[anneliese] We'll stop beating you up over it...I think CM and I are more concerned in the long run about overall pacing, anyway.

[camidon] Okay. That makes good sense. But is this the best scene to set that stage is the question? My fear is that it's not, though, as I said before, I'm reserving judgement for a few more chapters.

[bogwitch64] <getting ice pack for all the bruises

[bogwitch64] Laughing out loud

[anneliese] I like books like that also. But those opening gambits usually leave the reader with some sort of cliff-hanger. I didn't feel that way here.

[anneliese] (I know...I'm not very lucid tonight)

[bogwitch64] The pixie thing in the tree didn't do it for you, huh Anneliese? I wasn't going for BAM but apparently it was too understated. I was going for subtle.

[camidon] <===Agrees with Anneliese (We've formed a WWF wrestling tag-team and we're presently bodyslamming our point across the ring--it may not survive but we're having a good time doing it)

[bogwitch64] lol

[DaveK] I expected that the pixie would play a big part in chapter two, I missed the old woman connection.

[Elizabeth] I liked the pixie in the tree--if there's a hint of menace, of something else that's not quite right, her sudden presence could be quite unnerving, both for Keith and the reader.

[camidon] Subtle is good, but at least one thing must grab our eyelashes and pull. I'm still waiting to be pulled in, but I'm so close, and I think that makes it more frustrating.

[bogwitch64] The pixie thing is actually a major character

[anneliese] My feeling, Terri, is that the pixie thing is into the main story. The knife scene is the opening gambit.

[anneliese] And I definately liked the pixie part.

[bogwitch64] Elizabeth--hmmmm...a bit more menace, eh? Actually, she does pose a sort of threat to Keith. sideways, sort of

[bogwitch64] I could add a line or two to hint at that

[bogwitch64] grab eyelashes and pull!!! I love it!

[camidon] <btw, Elizabeth, got Juanita's newest sub, thanks again>

[Elizabeth] you're welcome, CM.

[Elizabeth] I guess, Terri, that the one thing more that I wanted from these first two chapters was a hint of crisis or menace.

[Elizabeth] That something is about to go very, very wrong, and that it will be all Keith can do to get through it.

[Elizabeth] The start of this novel is *so* close to being really good, really engaging...a bit more hint of trouble would do it, I think.

[bogwitch64] Things go wrong for Peter from the start (I believe that's the next chapter) very, very wrong and it involves the pixie thingy and the guy who gives them the game

[Elizabeth] But I agree with CM...sometimes it's almost more frustrating to read something that's almost there than to read something that's flat out bad.

[bogwitch64] Ok, Elizabeth. I gotcha. More tension, menace, forboding

[camidon] Exactly, Elizabeth.

[DaveK] Does Peter diassapear? Maybe you could put that in as a small aside.

[bogwitch64] I believe I did, Dave. Peter and Erin are missing from the beginning and by chapter two, Peter is still missing

[DaveK] I ment the actual abduction or whatever.

[bogwitch64] Nope, Peter is 'lost' but it's part of the game.

[bogwitch64] They just don't know they're playing just yet

[Elizabeth] Or perhaps Erin realizes that something is wrong...Peter doesn't up and leave without saying something to her. Or he left a personal article he always has with him...some hint that things are amiss.

[DaveK] I think more than a hint.

[camidon] This is where one two many things are subtle. Just give us a little nudge of immediate danger of tension. That's what keeps us reading. Then, as the story unfolds, all the well-placed subtle constructions create a more fulfilling read, but, to use the phrase again, "pull the eyelashes a tad more

[bogwitch64] lol

[anneliese] Any closing remarks?

[bogwitch64] hmmmm...thanks?

[bogwitch64] lol

[camidon] Wait a moment. Perhaps that eyelash tug is my bed calling...

[bogwitch64] seriously, thanks for the input

[Elizabeth] You've made an excellent start, Terri. Don't let the comments discourage you.

[bogwitch64] have lots to think about

[Elizabeth] That wasn't my intent...

[bogwitch64] Not at all

[DaveK] Keep up the good work and send in more words next time.

[anneliese] It's good stuff and we want to see more of it.

[bogwitch64] I don't get discouraged--counterproductive

[camidon] Yes, I agree with Elizabeth

[Elizabeth] This sounds like a very interesting intersection of mythologies, and I'm eager to see what the "game" is like.

[bogwitch64] Gotcha, Dave

[bogwitch64] Did we decide upon a word count?

[camidon] Good writing, good characters. Send more along!

[bogwitch64] Smiling

[anneliese] 5K works, try not to go too much over that if you want the most critiques.

[Elizabeth] yes, send more chapters!

[bogwitch64] got it

[bogwitch64] Thanks again, everyone

[camidon] Terri, As I'm sending something in excess of 10K (my apologies in advance, again,) don't worry too much about it!

[bogwitch64] My shoulder blades are BURNING from being at this computer too long

[anneliese] Over 10K and you only get your best friends (the ones in this room) to respond reliably (me excluded, of course)

[bogwitch64] LOL Chris

[camidon] 5k is a good amount though

[bogwitch64] No worries, can't wait

[camidon] LOl

[bogwitch64] I'll send however many chapters comes in under 5k words

[bogwitch64] ((((((((((Everyone))))))))))))) Thanks again! I'll see you next week!