Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Page 75 of 107 FirstFirst ... 2550656970717273747576777879808185100 ... LastLast
Results 1,851 to 1,875 of 2670

Thread: Learn Writing with Uncle Jim, Volume 2

  1. #1851
    practical experience, FTW Blue Sky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    178
    Okay, back in fact.

    The salvage yard climax scene starts as Plum and her abductors deal with the locked gate. Petiak orders Dave's partner Rudy to check the obviously locked and razor-wired gate twice. They need bolt cutters, so Petiak asks Plum if she knows where there's a Home Depot. Huh? Ha!

    Petiak's obvious angry stupidity and the everyday trip to Home Depot ease the tension. Portraying everybody involved as life's pawns varying in degrees of asinine stupidity brings the reader in with the memories of their own silly behavior in life. We've all done silly things. This also eases the tension. Although we know the series continues, this ending displays the series main arc of a haphazard female bounty hunter risking her life that could end. She could die. Too many readers to satisfy and money to be made by continuing the series. Theoretically, however, she could die, easily felt if the reader--our silent partner--allows him or herself to let go and enjoy.

    But wait. Home Depot is out of bolt cutters. More everyday life foibles and frustrations, bringing us in without commitment--we are smarter than these folks, after all. Plum volunteers that she knows where a Lowe's is located, which will buy time for Ranger and all the good guys ready to charge in thanks to her pen gps beacon. Tension eases, especially when Lowe's is out of bolt cutters as well.

    Impatient Petiak orders a return to the salvage yard. Plum wants the hostage situation resolved not first to save her life, but because she has to pee. More humor balancing dark drama. They stop in front of the locked gate. Tension up once again, but mitigated by Ranger's proven ability to rescue Plum seemingly from out of nowhere, a recurring story and series romantic arc.

    The wild card is Petiak's proven homicidal insanity, unpredictability and love of flamethrowers, which creates steady tension beneath the silliness.

    One comment overall. The author has an easy, smooth way with comedy. Her use of simple repetition in the cable company scenes got me laughing pretty hard. "Those fuckers." Ha!

  2. #1852
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    A good summary of the third, and longest, section of the final chapter. The mysterious, and darkly threatening, villain is revealed to be an incompetent schlub. His death (brought about by his own actions rather than anything Stephanie does or doesn't do) takes place off-stage.

    That ties off the major arc of the story. Although it takes place over a longer period of time than any other action in this chapter, and although it involves a great deal of geographic diversity, it's presented all as one scene -- one long tracking shot, in film terms, like the long tracking shot at the end of the Emma Thompson/Kenneth Branagh Much Ado About Nothing -- with little bumps of tension and release along the way.

    Which brings us to the fourth and last scene. Around two pages. We get a brief tie-up of the remaining loose ends. The key to the money is gone. Dickie remains as a continuing comedy bad guy. Ranger and Morelli remain as possible romantic-attachments for Stephanie. While Morelli is on top (so to speak) at the moment, a plot hook/cliffhanger is left lying there (on the floor): A pair of Stephanie's panties with Ranger's name embroidered on them.

    And that's the end of the book.

    The plot-lines introduced in this volume are solved in this volume. The plot-lines left over from the previous volume remain unresolved (although they have come to a natural equilibrium).

    It's light comedy/romance/drama. The plot is the classic One-Darned-Thing-After-Another plot. The baseline effect is speed. Humor replaces realism: Stephanie and Dave take injuries that would put Wile E. Coyote in the hospital for a month without giving either of them anything worse than a limp. The entire adventure takes place over a period of days, rather than weeks.

    So, based on this last chapter, would you pick up the next book?

  3. #1853
    Travelling around the sun cbenoi1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,226
    One line in that last chapter which sums up the whole series:

    "Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good," Ranger said.
    -cb

  4. #1854
    Naked Futon Guy allenparker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,258
    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    So, based on this last chapter, would you pick up the next book?

    As my wife, An avid Evonovich reader says, "It's not whether or not you will read the next book. It's about why you read it."

    I agree. The book ended with a subtle cliff hanger that is leaving you wanting more of her story. She has a way of leaving you complete in the story, but with enough questions to want to know what else will happen.

    So, if you can teach us how to do this in one easy lesson...
    Save the Tatas: This is important. Please forward the link to everyone you know!
    link Breast cancer sucks!
    My Web Space




  5. #1855
    practical experience, FTW Blue Sky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    178
    Yes Jim, would you mind teaching us that?

    I'd like to read the first book to see how it started. Mystery not my thing though, with a lot of other books I'd like to read waiting.

    The main thing for me as a reader and aspiring author is that she kept me entertained and laughing in a genre I've only read occasionally. I'd like to investigate that.

  6. #1856
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    This particular book seemed to follow the roller-coaster plan. The big hill at the start, then a bunch of smaller hills and twists, then the ending being a set of smaller hills -- just bumps, really -- before gliding into the station, ready to take you around again.

    It's as valid a model as the one where you're climbing a mountain and plant your flag on the summit in the last chapter.

    You couldn't ask for a better example, though, of the adage that your first page sells this book, your last page sells the next book, and what you need in between is a reason for the readers to keep turning each page in turn.

  7. #1857
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    Experience the author brings to the table...

    Many years ago there was a men's action adventure series about mercenaries in Africa. It was gritty. It was tough. It had sex. Things were going well enough ...

    Then the publisher started getting letters. One from Africa, and it went roughly, "Mikey: Thought you were dead. Now we know you aren't we're going to find you, mate." Another was from a solicitor in London: "We believe that [author] is the father of our client's minor child...." And so on.

    The editors were ... bemused.

    The author was thrilled, because the author was really a pseudonym for a pair of little-old-lady librarians in upper New York State who had never been within a thousand miles of Africa (or London), didn't know any mercenaries, had never served in the military. All they knew how to do was research, and write cracking yarns.

  8. #1858
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    Off to Boskone. See you there!

  9. #1859
    Today is your last day. FOTSGreg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    A land where FTL travel is possible and horrible things lurk just beneath the surface of reality
    Posts
    7,749
    Have fun, Uncle Jim. Wish I could be there.

    Find my books on Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/fotsgreg
    Find my books on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/G.W.-Ellis/e/B...805&sr=1-2-ent
    WIPs: Dark Horizons, Hivers, The Bar, Gated

  10. #1860
    figuring it all out
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    56
    Have you ever kept a diary?

    If yes, does keeping one contribute to your storytelling?
    If no, does keeping one contribute to your storytelling?

  11. #1861
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    No, I've never kept a diary.

    But ... everything you do contributes to storytelling. Particularly if it involves telling stories.

  12. #1862
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    Tiny little brag: Four of this year's Nebula nominees are Viable Paradise graduates.

  13. #1863
    Naked Futon Guy allenparker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,258
    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    Tiny little brag: Four of this year's Nebula nominees are Viable Paradise graduates.

    Goes to show what metal you and the others are made from...

    Congrats. I'm jealous, but in a creative way.
    Save the Tatas: This is important. Please forward the link to everyone you know!
    link Breast cancer sucks!
    My Web Space




  14. #1864
    Goddess of Rationalization Hathor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    In de Nile
    Posts
    3,878
    I've read all the archives here and tried to make Uncle Jim proud. The book is about to be cast before agents. I think the last time here I mentioned my work (long time ago) I was worried about it being too short. Somehow it became a trilogy. First book can stand alone, fortunately.

    My query's over at QLH now. You'll see my protagonist is a Macdonald. Naturally, the antagonists are Campbells. For those of you who don't get this, google "Glencoe Massacre."

    I'm not a Macdonald, but my clan got screwed over by the Bloody Campbells, too. Their name means "twisted mouth" in Gaelic, by the way.

  15. #1865
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    First posted elsewhere, but I thought I'd bring it here:
    Yeah, I'm aware that paid-for reviews exist, like I'm aware that paid-for sex exists. You want, I can show you a place where you can get a five-star review, from a "Real Name" account with an "Amazon-Verified Purchase," for five bucks.

    But you know something? I can also show you where to get a blowjob for five bucks.

    Don't mistake it for love, though, and don't think in a million years that anyone who sees you with the hooker will think that it's love.
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 03-18-2012 at 04:06 AM.

  16. #1866
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920

  17. #1867
    Dipwad vrabinec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Frederick, Md
    Posts
    674
    Having dated Mary Jane, a cousing of Karen's, for many years, I fail to see the humor. Now my mary Jane will just cost more because of supply issues.

  18. #1868
    Dipwad vrabinec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Frederick, Md
    Posts
    674
    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    Tiny little brag: Four of this year's Nebula nominees are Viable Paradise graduates.
    You guys are getting some good reviews from bloggers, too. This guy has a decent following among authors.

    http://elflands2ndcousin.com/2012/03...able-paradise/

  19. #1869
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    Quote Originally Posted by vrabinec View Post
    You guys are getting some good reviews from bloggers, too. This guy has a decent following among authors.

    http://elflands2ndcousin.com/2012/03...able-paradise/

    I hadn't seen that... thanks. Here's another:

    http://www.jasontoomey.com/stonetower/2010/10/vp-14-final-update-wrapping-it-all-up.html

  20. #1870
    Grand adventurer of the couch Grunkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    478
    I'm 5-10 thousand words away from THE END on the first draft of my WIP. Is it best to let the MS cool before I dive in and begin the revision process knowing that I'll need at a couple full rewrites, or is it best to revise, rewrite and when it's closer to its final state let it cool?
    "Lady Ramkin's bosom rose and fell like an empire." - Terry Pratchet


  21. #1871
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    Quote Originally Posted by Grunkins View Post
    Is it best to let the MS cool before I dive in and begin the revision process knowing that I'll need at a couple full rewrites, or is it best to revise, rewrite and when it's closer to its final state let it cool?
    The answer to that will depend on the author -- on you, and what works for you.

    For me, it's best to let the story age for a while, while writing something new, but I've come to that realization about myself over the years. I started out revising as soon as I hit The End--and for some writers that works really well. (And you're going to have to do that if you're pressing the deadline.)

    So, best is highly subjective.

    Same for the number of revisions you do.

    My best advice, though, right now, is to let it sit. The parts of the story that are "head story" (they're in the author's head, not on the page) will slough away in the interim if you put it aside and work on something else for a bit.

  22. #1872
    permaflounced
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    452
    I've written a novel in 1st person, present tense, where the narrator dies in the end. Then I wrote the epilogue in another supporting character's 1st person, present tense relating the events after the main character croaked, because I couldn't let the end happen when the end happened to the main narrator.

    I've had a reader tell me I should set some sort of artifice in place--how could the story be told? she said. Will I run into problems with my epilogue being believable? My whole novel? I've had a lot of beta readers who've never questioned my epilogue.

    I hope I've made enough sense here explaining it.

  23. #1873
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    Quote Originally Posted by LillyPu View Post
    I've written a novel in 1st person, present tense, where the narrator dies in the end. Then I wrote the epilogue in another supporting character's 1st person, present tense relating the events after the main character croaked, because I couldn't let the end happen when the end happened to the main narrator.
    It's been done well.

    For example, The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe. Or All Quiet on the Western Front, where the story continues a bit in past tense from an omniscient narrator after the first-person-present-tense protagonist dies.

    If you do it well enough, you can do it too.

  24. #1874
    permaflounced
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    452
    Thank you! I've had All Quiet on the Western Front referred to me before, but then forgot all about it. Now I better make it a point to read it.

    But I'm really excited about The Sorrows of Young Werther. I hope my library has it. I'm planning an epistolary novel next with letters, diaries and newsclippings, so it'll come in really handy reading Sorrows. For both my novels.

    Thanks again for taking the time to recommend those two great books. I think my novel will benefit.

  25. #1875
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22,920
    Speaking of epistolary novels, there's Dracula, and our own Land of Mist and Snow.

Page 75 of 107 FirstFirst ... 2550656970717273747576777879808185100 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search