Chat log for February 21, 2005

[Juanita] Hi CM

[camidon] Evening, Juanita!

[Juanita] Looks like we're the early birds today

[camidon] I just sent out a critique not five minutes ago for your submission.

[Juanita] I got it, thanks

[anneliese] Hi!

[camidon] Evening, Anneliese!

[Juanita] Hi Anneliese

[camidon] Great

[anneliese] Hi CM, Juanita!

[Juanita] It's always so good to find out what other people see or do not see in a story

[camidon] Totally agree, Juanita

[camidon] How are you this evening, Anneliese?

[anneliese] Recovering, but good. How about you?

[Juanita] Recovering from what?? or should I ask....

[camidon] Had a pleasant weekend. No complaints. Recovering from what? Sounds ominous.

[anneliese] I had a board meeting this week in Durham, NC. So mainly recovering from sleep deprivation.

[anneliese] Thurs thru Sunday

[Juanita] ahhh

[camidon] Ah, you should be a pro at handling that, Anneliese, after surviving NaNo last Nov!

[anneliese] LOL. Editing month is March, you know.

[anneliese] Hi Elizabeth@

[Elizabeth] hello everybody! How was your trip, Anneliese?

[camidon] Howdy, Elizabeth


[Juanita] Hi Elizabeth

[camidon] Better get warmed up then, Anneliese.

[anneliese] Survived the trip, so far no plague (everyone was sick)

[anneliese] Well, I'm about half way through edits, but might start over again.

[Elizabeth] yikes! My husband has the flu.

[Elizabeth] He's occupying the couch and complaining that everything hurts.

[camidon] Please, no smooching your computer and sending any virtual plague in this direction! I mean it! to plague!

[anneliese] There seems to be too much of that going around.

[Juanita] NaNoWriMo targets a 50,000 word novel, right


[anneliese] Not me!

[Juanita] What market takes novels that short?

[anneliese] Correct, Juanita

[camidon] Yep, Juanita

[anneliese] Actually, actual novel length is not important, simply the word count.

[Elizabeth] don't worry, I'm practicing safe chat.

[anneliese] Most novels were longer than that.

[anneliese] LOL, Elizabeth!

[Juanita] Oh, so you could aim at doing half a novel

[camidon] Yep

[camidon] Good for you Elizabeth!

[anneliese] Yep. It's really only about getting a certain number of words written in the timeframe.

[Elizabeth] which I haven't managed yet. Maybe next year. Sticking out tongue

[Juanita] Hey, CM, are you ready for us to tackle your sub?

[anneliese] My story finished at about 50K, but as a first draft it had a LOT of holes. It's going to be much longer than that.

[camidon] It's about the community and commradie of like-minded people/writers/wackos just trying to crank-out lots of words in a very short time. Other than that...

[camidon] Certainly, Juanita. I'm good to go

[Juanita] I don't have the courage to try a 50,000 work month ...yet

[anneliese] Other than the sleep deprivation, it's not that hard

[anneliese] So, CM, what would you like us to trash about your sub

[Elizabeth] I'm sleep deprived as it is. Having a six-year-old does that.

[camidon] Pretty please, Anneliese?

[anneliese] LOL!

[camidon] This submission, Continental Divide, tha I tossed to the group was something I wrote a few years ago. It dropped to the sidelines when I became interested in my "childrens" novels. Now I'm trying to decide if I should pick it up or not. So that's question #1.

[Elizabeth] are we ready to start?

[Juanita] Yes, I think you should.

[anneliese] Q1 answer: yes (I think)

[camidon] Should I pick it up again and start writing more? Did the characters and setting interest you enough/what would have interested you more?

[anneliese] How far did you get with it?

[Juanita] I noticed all but one of your protagonists are quite young. That's not a bad thing, I use young characters myself because there's so much to challenge them with

[Elizabeth] CM, I liked what I saw. It's an intriguing idea.

[Juanita] Are you aiming this to be a Juvenile or Young Adult book?

[camidon] I think? Hmm... Now that's a convoluted response! Is your brain rebelling?

[Elizabeth] What I would change is the number of shifting viewpoints in the first chapter...

[Elizabeth] introduce us to the character with the most pressing problems

[Elizabeth] and give us a chapter or two to get to know them, and to empathize with them.

[Elizabeth] Frederick's and Geryon's stories were, to me at least, the most compelling.

[Elizabeth] Erin's story runs a close second, but she's in no immediate danger.

[Elizabeth] It also occurred to me that you might want to start Geryon's narrative

[camidon] I guess I should say this: A) I've written about 45K. B) this story is set-up to span the character's lifetime, so each chapter, or after a few chapters, there is a large time jump

[Elizabeth] at the point where he decides, "To hell with this, I can't take three more years of this."

[Elizabeth] "Screw the law, I'm getting out of here before the old man kills me."

[camidon] Audience will be Adult

[Juanita] I really wanted to see the two wilderness youngsters meet up in the hospital

[Elizabeth] Because it seemed clear to me that the neighbors/community were too intimidated by Geryon's father to even question what happened to his son.

[Elizabeth] And I felt that Geryon was this close to snapping and either trying to kill the old man, or fleeing.

[Elizabeth] Not that he can do that in his present state...

[camidon] That's an interesting though, Juanita. Hmm...

[Juanita] At this time, how long do you wait before any of your main characters meet each other?

[camidon] Initially plotted, two characters meet up in C2, and then no more meet up until the end, when everyone does in the climax. However, having Geryon and Erin meet in the beginning, for a brief scene could be very, very interesting.

[Juanita] What I'm asking, I guess, is what structure you have used for the story line

[Elizabeth] Maybe meeting up with Erin could be what gives Geryon the incentive to leave.

[Elizabeth] Does he leave for the Sprawl before he turns eighteen? Try to make a run for it?

[Juanita] Are we getting another chapter? I noticed your next sub is totally different

[Juanita] I'd like to see more of this one

[camidon] Getting more depended on the responses from this critique go around; depends if I decide to devote more time to this endeavor, or tackle something new.

[Elizabeth] I'd like to see more, personally.

[anneliese] Same here

[Elizabeth] Especially how the lives of all these people intersect in the end.

[camidon] As written, Geryon does not leave early. He "swaps"

[Juanita] I'm already emotionally attached to these kids and would like to follow them along the way a little farther

[Juanita] And then maybe you could share the end???

[camidon] Well that was one thing I was wondering, if readers were interested enough to keep reading. If the characters and setting propelled the story on from here. I succeeded in that at least.

[Juanita] Where does he go, or how does he survive, the intervening three years?

[camidon] share the end? You me "spoil" the fun! What author would do that!

[Elizabeth] I can see reading to the end just to see if Frederick, Geryon and Erin get out alive.

[Juanita] Oh, well .... I had to ask

[camidon] I do give some of what happens of Geryon before the "swap"

[Juanita] This from someone who's never shared an ending

[camidon] When I started writing this, it was mainly a stab at trying to write a "different" kind of story than I was used to.

[anneliese] Yea, Juanita...when are you going to change that?

[Elizabeth] lol!

[Juanita] Not sure I will

[camidon] Something that spanned a lifetime; with different characters, from diferent pasts, all coming together in one climax at the end where they all connect for different reasons and purposes

[Elizabeth] I wasn't quite as taken with Helen's story...she's basically okay, a little dissatisfied with her life, but nothing major.

[Juanita] Trying something different is good. New kinds of projects stretch a person

[Elizabeth] If I were to tell her story, I'd start with what happened when Miss Staid City Girl went out for a night of fun, and what weird/dangerous stuff happened as a result.

[camidon] It's good to know that lots of folks don't think the story structure works. If I come back this, I'll definitely look at that in revisions.

[Juanita] As we follow the different story lines, is there something about them besides a dissatisfaction with their ipresent lot, to join them together?

[Elizabeth] feh! PHP just ate my last comment!

[camidon] Helen = ok. Sums up my feelings. She's boring, which is "kind of'" the point. Yet a "boring" person still needs to be interesting. Ugh, talk about a paradox; and interesting boring person

[Juanita] A boring person can get into 'intersesting' situations

[Elizabeth] I'd be more interested in her story if she did get into a really "interesting" situation when she decides to live a little.

[camidon] What will bind everyone together is their fasination with the border, swapping, protecting it, etc. Everything centers around the border.

[Juanita] Maybe she'll be the one who ends up swapping for some reason other than she WANTS to

[Elizabeth] Maybe something that intersects with Frederick's story, if that's not too hokey.

[camidon] Yes, Juanita! Hopefully that's what I do with Helen...

[Elizabeth] Or with the people who are after him.

[camidon] Do you mean jefferson? Who's Frederick

[Elizabeth] Oh. Jefferson. So much for my short-term memory.

[camidon] You sniff things out too good, Elizabeth, though; Helen and Jefferson do meet (C2) and things spiral out of control for a while...

[camidon] That's ok, Elizabeth, I can't remember chapter 2 of this thing, and I keep having to look at my "cheat" sheet.

[Elizabeth] I figured she had to get involved with the Pocket somehow.

[Elizabeth] Staid career girl gets into wrong neighborhood, does foolish things...

[camidon] Them meeting was probably pretty obvious as they're both centered in San Fran, and the other two are in CO and SD

[Juanita] I missed that,,,sloppy mental mapping on my part

[Elizabeth] I'm wondering what would keep Geryon where he is, other than fear/inertia.

[Elizabeth] But I do think you need to take more time with each character,

[camidon] Or not so obvious...

[Elizabeth] and introduce the one with the most compelling reason to tamper with the border first.

[camidon] More time with each character? That's good, right, it means you're interested?

[anneliese] The characters are compelling, and the story idea is definately interesting.

[Elizabeth] Yes. I am interested.

[Juanita] right

[Elizabeth] And if I got to know each character's predicament better, I'd be even more interested.

[Elizabeth] I think this has a lot of potential.

[camidon] If I break up the initial structure into smaller, more managble chapters, I could probably spend a little more time with each character

[camidon] Ah "potential" The hard part is turning that "potential" energy into "kinetic"...

[anneliese] LOL

[Elizabeth] Yeah, shorter introductory chapters, each one focused on a single character, would work better, IMHO.

[Elizabeth] If it makes you feel better, I had to do the same thing with my series.

[camidon] I agree, though, I see potential in this, and that's why I sent it out to see if other's did. I think you've given enough reason to keep poking at this.

[Juanita] Glad to hear it

[Juanita] Dropping a half finished story is like abandoning a half grown child

[camidon] Me, need to feel better? I'm great. I just had a handful of chocolate!

[anneliese] Nice image, Juanita!

[Elizabeth] In that case, CPS is about to come knocking at my door.

[camidon] Yes, so true, Juanita! And yet I have so many in all stages of life... Some even in death...

[Elizabeth] Chocolate is the miracle cure, isn't it?

[Juanita] Oh-oh

[Elizabeth] I have several adolescents. Talented, but very troubled and obnoxious, adolescents.

[Juanita] And some of mine are disabled -- I don't know if I'll ever find a cure

[camidon] I have to pick and choose which ones to nurture and grow. So hard. So hard.

[anneliese] I mainly leave mine in baskets on doorsteps.

[Juanita] I send mine out in the world, but no one wants them so they come back home

[camidon] Wow, we can put a little tag in the Forum saying: If you want to learn about extended metaphors, read this!

[Elizabeth] Mine go out, then run out of money and camp out in the garage.

[camidon] Ack! Too much. LOL! Sticking out tongue

[anneliese] Or something to play with in the wiki?

[Juanita] So, is there anything else we should touch on in your story CM?

[camidon] Ah, the wiki! Now that's an infant crying for attention. Some day, some day.

[camidon] I don't think so, Juanita. I've gotten what I wanted out of these critiques. Do you all have any other suggestions? Wait! IDEA sprouting: Which character would you all choose to start the story?

[anneliese] Fredrick


[Juanita] Gery works for me. If you want to change, go to the little thief

[anneliese] Actually, I liked the one you started with.

[camidon] lol. You're too much Anneliese

[anneliese] I have to try, CM

[camidon] I will say this about the structure I chose for the novel. Each chapter, as written, was meant to be in the same time period. Because there will be a lot of forward time jumping at times, I htought this would be a way to ground the reader. Each chapter, with its sections is in the same time...

[camidon] Do you think there would be a way to keep the time jumps from becoming confusing, if each character or two has his or her own chapter?

[Juanita] Hmmm. Maybe a way to deal with that is to have chronological sections, each section containing a few chapters

[Elizabeth] I'd probably choose Geryon or Jefferson...Geryon perhaps first, because through his dad's work he has a knowledge of the border, etc. that the other characters might not have.

[Juanita] That, or have very large chapters broken into sub-chapters

[Elizabeth] If the time jumps but the POV character stays the same, I think the reader can figure it out.

[Elizabeth] If the POV character jumps, the timeline should stay more or less chronological. Am I making any sense?

[Juanita] If you start with the same character each section you wouldn't need to say six years later every time

[Elizabeth] Make one jump at a time. Either character or timeframe.

[Juanita] There are other ways to relating passage of time

[camidon] As the hour winds down here, my final thoughts are this: I'll most likely send out another section C2, if things stay quiet. The interest from the group warrants more attention on this baby.

[Juanita] Yaaay! I love watching kids grow up

[camidon] Any final thought from tonight's peanut gallery? <please throw only unsalted peanuts; the salt hurts my delicate skin>

[Juanita] LOL

[anneliese] Yea, at least get the thing into day care

[Juanita] I guess we'll have to lick them off first

[Elizabeth] do we have to shell them first?

[camidon] Which is what they do, Juanita.

[anneliese] Redskins or skinless?

[Elizabeth] I'm definitely interested in seeing more, CM.

[Elizabeth] Boiled or roasted?

[camidon] Sounds good, Anneliese, I've had enough with this baby's diapers

[Elizabeth] what if all I have in the house is peanut butter?

[Juanita] "I'm going to eat them.

[Elizabeth] do I need to send you our old Diaper Genie, CM?

[anneliese] Is is smooth or chunky?

[camidon] As always, thanks for you time and input. I'm always amazed how helpful and interesting these chats are.

[Juanita] good night, all. It's been fun

[Elizabeth] it's natural, so it turns chunky when you refrigerate it.

[camidon] That's ok, Elizabeth, I LOVE peanut butter.

[anneliese] Keep those submissions coming!

[Elizabeth] Grossed my son out to see that the oil and peanut stuff separate.

[camidon] Gnight, Junaita. Thanks very much for coming.

[anneliese] Glad you could make it, Juanita!

[Elizabeth] I'll get you some freshly made PB from Whole Foods.

[Elizabeth] good night, Juanita, and thanks for coming!

[Elizabeth] It's always good to talk to you.

[anneliese] Wish we had a Whole Foods around here

[Elizabeth] Or almond personal favorite

[Elizabeth] okay, maybe I need to send PB to two locations.

[Elizabeth] Come down to Dallas and stock up, Anneliese. We've got a guest bedroom.

[anneliese] When I get the time and the $$, you'll surely see me!

[Elizabeth] cool!

[camidon] Mmm Wild Oats, anyone? Have to drive a 100 miles, butit worth it!

[Elizabeth] That was my sister's fave store when she lived in Alburqueque.

[anneliese] The June board meeting might get moved to Dallas, although that's kind of a long shot.

[anneliese] No Wild Oats around here.

[Elizabeth] Hmmmm....

[anneliese] We just got a Price Chopper though.

[Elizabeth] Texas is pretty much Whole Foods territory--their HQ is in Austin.

[camidon] As always, u2, thanks for the laugh-filled, thoroughly enjoyable chat session. I think I'll go read Chapter 2 now... (should of done that BEFORE the chat.)

[anneliese] You bring out the best in us, CM

[Elizabeth] always good talking to you, CM.

[Elizabeth] Take care and watch out for flying peanuts.

[camidon] Elizabeth, I drove through San Antonio, Pharr, Fredrickburg, Eden, Abilene, Bollinger, and a whole lot of other Texas places and nonplaces when I drove to and from Mexico.

[camidon] Gnight u2

[anneliese] San Antonio... my fav place in Texas (although my SA pal now lives in Houston)

[Elizabeth] Next time you're in I35, give me a ring.

[anneliese] Niters, CM, glad you could make it.

[Elizabeth] night!