What about 'Tis?

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khobar

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I asked about Angela's Ashes in a previous thread, and the responses were interesting.

Now I'm asking about the sequel, "'Tis". Same frame of reference - suppose McCourt was unpublished, working on draft #x, and came here to get an opinion of his opening:

"When the MS Irish Oak sailed from Cork in October 1949, we expected to be in New York City in a week. Instead, after two days at sea, we were told we were going to Montreal in Canada. I told the first officer all I had was forty dollars and would Irish Shipping pay my train fare from Montreal to New York. He said, No, the company wasn't responsible. He said freighters are the whores of the high seas, they'll do anything for anyone. You could say a freighter is like Murphy's oul' dog, he'll go part of the road with any wandered.

"Two days later Irish Shipping changed its mind and gave us the happy new, Sail for New York City, but two days after that the captain was told, Sail for Albany.

"The first officer told me Albany was a city far up the Hudson River, capital of New York State. He said Albany had all the charm of Limerick, ha ha ha, a great place to die but not a place where you'd want to get married or rear children. He was from Dublin and knew I was from Limerick and when he sneered at Limerick I didn't know what to do. I'd like to destroy him with a smart remark but then I'd look at myself in the mirror, pimply face, sore eyes, and bad teeth and know I could never stand up to anyone, especially a first officer with a uniform and a promising future as master of his own ship. Then I'd say to myself, Why should I care what anyone says about Limerick anyway? All I had there was misery." ~ Frank McCourt, 'Tis

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Jamesaritchie

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I have no idea why he would possibly come here for an opinion of the opening? If he came here at all, every writer would be begging for his opinion of their opening.

I'm not sure what your problem is with Frank McCourt? No matter how you slice it, he's a brilliant writer, one of the best I've ever read. Being able to grab teh flavor of a country and it's people, of being able to make truth a [art of it, and being able to make it all sing, is a rare gift, and he has it. He had it when he started writing, he had it when he died, and had he lived another hundred years, he would still have it.

Instead of questioning McCourt, which is , I think, absurd, why don't you knuckle down and write a book half as good as his? If you can do this much, you'll sell faster than kilts at a lipstick convention.
 

khobar

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If you want to contribute to the discussion, please do.

If you want to attack me for asking a simple question, that's fine too but at least read what I write instead of making stuff up, okay?
 

Helix

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I'd be quite shocked if there were so many typos in the original.

That excerpt is the start of the first chapter, but there's a short prologue before it. The prologue sets up that opening.
 

buz

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I'm not quite sure what the question is?

I mean...'s good. I like it. Great voice. I know I read this book a while ago--I don't remember much of the content anymore--but I know the voice drew me in, and this reminds me why.

But I'm unclear on the intended discussion.
 
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khobar

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I'd be quite shocked if there were so many typos in the original.

That excerpt is the start of the first chapter, but there's a short prologue before it. The prologue sets up that opening.

Ah, okay - fair enough.

If it had been written by John Doe would you have kept going (assuming you've read the book)? If so, why? The writing? The content? The promise of what's on the next page?

Thanks.
 

khobar

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I'm not quite sure what the question is?

I mean...'s good. I like it. Great voice. I know I read this book a while ago--I don't remember much of the content anymore--but I know the voice drew me in, and this reminds me why.

But I'm unclear on the intended discussion.

I should have framed it slightly differently - if Frank McCourt never existed and I or someone else had posted this sample here at AW and asked for input, what kinds of comments might there be.
 

Tazlima

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If you want to attack me for asking a simple question, that's fine too but at least read what I write instead of making stuff up, okay?

Obviously you have some reason for posting two such similar threads; I think it's understandable that people would wonder what that reason is, particularly given some similar threads (not yours) that have cropped up in the past. Personally I can only think of three possibilities, two of which are rather...unsavory:

1) You're critical of Frank McCourt and seek validation of your opinion. In that case, I don't believe you'll find what you're seeking. Even if McCourt were the worst author in the world (and he's clearly quite excellent), jumping all over him would run counter to the RYFW rule.

2) You feel that the criticisms on AW are flawed in some way and wish to prove that people here are incapable of properly recognizing a good opening. I don't think I need to point out the inherent flaws in this sort of "test."

3) You have no ill-intentions and merely wish to see what sort of criticism is generated here in order to determine whether you're among like-minded individuals. In that case, your time would be better spent in reading the items in SYW, drawing your conclusions, then scrolling down to see what others have already said. That way you’d have the advantage of beginning from the same blank slate as the commenters. Additionally, if your conclusions differed from those already present, you could add them as comments and perhaps help a budding writer improve his/her craft by bringing a fresh perspective to the work.

Is it one of these or a fourth one that I haven't thought of?
 
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Marlys

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I'm guessing:

4.) You've written a memoir,it's similar in some way to McCourt's work, and think you'll learn something about how people might respond to yours by asking how they responded to his.

If that, I'd suggest getting actual eyes on yours--looks like you posted some threads about it a couple of years ago. Maybe it's time to post again in SYW? Or am I totally off-base here?
 

khobar

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Obviously you have some reason for posting two such similar threads; I think it's understandable that people would wonder what that reason is, particularly given some similar threads (not yours) that have cropped up in the past. Personally I can only think of three possibilities, two of which are rather...unsavory:

1) You're critical of Frank McCourt and seek validation of your opinion. In that case, I don't believe you'll find what you're seeking. Even if McCourt were the worst author in the world (and he's clearly quite excellent), jumping all over him would run counter to the RYFW rule.

2) You feel that the criticisms on AW are flawed in some way and wish to prove that people here are incapable of properly recognizing a good opening. I don't think I need to point out the inherent flaws in this sort of "test."

3) You have no ill-intentions and merely wish to see what sort of criticism is generated here in order to determine whether you're among like-minded individuals. In that case, your time would be better spent in reading the items in SYW, drawing your conclusions, then scrolling down to see what others have already said. That way you’d have the advantage of beginning from the same blank slate as the commenters. Additionally, if your conclusions differed from those already present, you could add them as comments and perhaps help a budding writer improve his/her craft by bringing a fresh perspective to the work.

Is it one of these or a fourth one that I haven't thought of?

I have no ill-intentions. I have read thousands of comments in SYW many of which have been very helpful. I've even contributed there. I decided approaching from the opposite direction would be interesting.

Your suggestion regarding helping budding writers is excellent, but that's something I've been doing for years now - or so I've been told. ;)
 

khobar

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I'm guessing:

4.) You've written a memoir,it's similar in some way to McCourt's work, and think you'll learn something about how people might respond to yours by asking how they responded to his.

If that, I'd suggest getting actual eyes on yours--looks like you posted some threads about it a couple of years ago. Maybe it's time to post again in SYW? Or am I totally off-base here?

I appreciate your comments - thank you. You're not totally off-base as I have written a memoir, and it is similar in some ways to McCourt's work (it involves Ireland though under vastly different circumstances), but that's as far as it goes.

This time I'm interested in comments re: 'Tis - it's written by the same author as a continuation of the same story, etc. yet in my opinion it's very different.
 
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