Author Topic: continuation of The Occasional Mistress  (Read 2341 times)

Offline 510bhan

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continuation of The Occasional Mistress
« on: March 11, 2011, 10:36:28 AM »
 They've just attended the funeral of J-dub (Joseph William Kilpatrick ). Box 7 in this thread has its latest revision http://www.mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=29999.45

   


     They passed by her father-in-law’s grave that backed the plot in which her husband lay. It reminded her of own parents, long since passed away. His tombstone informed he was beloved husband of Marjorie and father of Peter, Mervyn, Joseph and Stella, gone but not forgotten. Louise gripped Marjorie tighter, for both their sakes. Bill Kilpatrick, loving father and husband, would have wanted to console his wife, his daughter-in-law and his grandchildren.
     
     On reaching the sleek, black cars, Marjorie was joined by Peter, Mervyn and Stella, each with their head bowed. Marty and Sasha accompanied Louise in the same doleful manner and the parties set off from Roselawn to Dundonald, followed by a fleet of mourners, to attend the wake at the family home. Louise gave a final glance towards the grave and noticed a woman who hadn’t been part of the congregation standing by the hole that the gravediggers had now draped in bright green false grass. God they’re nosey here. Stepping into the back seat of the car, Louise scrunched up the dog-eared piece of paper and stuffed it into her pocket, turned her head to the window and ignored the countryside whizzing by.
     
     It was no surprise when her conscious mind returned to J-dub. It had all been so sudden and unexpected. He had just completed his annual company medical and been given the all clear. According to the grapevine, aneurisms in the brain didn’t give warnings or opportunities to say goodbye. To their credit, however, they were swift, silent and surreptitious. Considering this, Louise reflected that he hadn’t suffered and for that she was glad. She recalled her last living memory of him. He had been waving goodbye as he went to collect the meat and booze from the wholesalers for the party. Perhaps then, she mused, there had been a goodbye, albeit from behind the wheel of a car as he reversed down the driveway. It wasn’t quite what she had imagined a last goodbye to be. The recollection of J-dub was of someone full of life, brimming with enthusiasm, excited about the forthcoming party. He’d told her that he’d something special planned and couldn’t wait to see her face when the surprise would be revealed. With a smile, a wink and the devil dancing in his eyes, he’d driven away satisfied with his scheming. They always schemed together. They had plans for her Empire. When she ruled the world everything would be right and he had asked if he could join -- he would seek vengeance on the wrongdoers for her. She had told him he would only be a bouncer but he was her first . . . and only recruit. They used to talk some shite but they were good at it and it made them laugh -- often.

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: continuation of The Occasional Mistress
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2011, 11:05:06 AM »
Quote
Stepping into the back seat of the car, Louise scrunched up the dog-eared piece of paper and stuffed it into her pocket, turned her head to the window and ignored the countryside whizzing by.

Sio, on first read, the bit in bold was the only bump in the road for me.

I think what you intended to convey was that she was looking out the car window but not seeing/attentive to the passing countryside. If I;, correct, maybe you could reword it to show this a little better.

I like the teaser of the unknown woman standing by the grave.  ;D  Fulfills the "leave them wanting more" adage perfectly.   

Oh, I almost forgot to say . . . I like this - good job.

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Offline 510bhan

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Re: continuation of The Occasional Mistress
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 11:08:29 AM »
Thanks Alice - that is what I was hoping to say . . . I'll have a look at it. :)

Stepping into the back seat of the car, Louise scrunched up the dog-eared piece of paper and stuffed it into her pocket. She turned her head to the window and stared into the distance. The countryside whizzed by.

Any better? ???
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 11:13:59 AM by 510bhan »

Offline Amanda George

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Re: continuation of The Occasional Mistress
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 11:19:51 AM »
This is great, 510!  No negatives at all for this crit!  Keep up the wonderful writing!  :)
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Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: continuation of The Occasional Mistress
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2011, 11:45:26 AM »
Thanks Alice - that is what I was hoping to say . . . I'll have a look at it. :)

Stepping into the back seat of the car, Louise scrunched up the dog-eared piece of paper and stuffed it into her pocket. She turned her head to the window and stared into the distance. The countryside whizzed by.

Any better? ???

She turned her head to the window and the unseen passing countryside. All she could see was the memories of their past.

Not great and I don't wish to put words in your fingertips, but something similar to this is what "I" see.
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: continuation of The Occasional Mistress
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2011, 11:51:02 AM »
Doesn't that create a POV issue if she can't see or it is unseen? :-\ :-\

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: continuation of The Occasional Mistress
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 02:01:37 PM »
Doesn't that create a POV issue if she can't see or it is unseen? :-\ :-\

I don't think so. It indicates her thoughts are not on the passing scenery, but rather, turned inward.  At least, that was my intention.

Ages ago I read a piece where the author had their MC's eyes "rolling around the room."

I knew, logically, they intended to show the MC was looking around the room. But the image of two eye balls rolling around on the floor. As a result of that visual I've been overly picky about what I have eyes doing.  ;)
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Silt

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Re: continuation of The Occasional Mistress
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2011, 02:05:38 PM »
oi, i didn't know this was a new version, will review after the house settles down, sio :)

Offline Andre Farant

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Re: continuation of The Occasional Mistress
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2011, 03:31:11 PM »
Hi Sio!

I’m at work at the moment (bad civil servant!) and so I’ve had to write this as a word doc and then cut and paste. Hope all will be clear, given that I won’t have the opportunity to “quote” using those fancy blue boxes or otherwise embellish. Please do not take offence at my use of CAPS. I’m not shouting. I can’t use colours or bold so…

I’ve tried to be thorough. Hope it helps.

*

The first line isn't quite clear to me. I get stuck on "backed". Do you mean that one plot is behind the other? If so, which is which? Maybe the word "abutted" could replace "backed"? Or maybe something along the lines of "They passed her father-in-law's grave, one plot over from the one in which her husband lay." Or simply, "They passed her father-in-law's grave." Not sure we need to know exactly where it is in relation to her husband's plot.

*

"It reminded her of HER own parents, long since passed away."

You might want to consider replacing the word "passed" in one of your first two sentences. The repetition is noticeable. Maybe the second instance could be replaced with "gone" or simply "dead." (Though the latter does sound a little brusque.)

*

I suggest you scratch "for both their sakes." Keep it at "Louise gripped Marjorie tighter." I think it's evident that their grief is shared.

*

“Bill Kilpatrick, loving father and husband, would have wanted to console his wife, his daughter-in-law and his grandchildren.”

What about the others? On his tombstone, it's mentioned that Bill was father to numerous children, but they are left out of this sentence. Coming so soon after you’ve mentioned the inscription and list of children, it makes me wonder if Bill would have had reason not to want to comfort them.

*

"…headS bowed." I picture a group of people sharing a single head.

Personally, I don't much care for the word "bowed" in this context. I prefer "down". But that's just personal preference.

*

“…and the parties set off from Roselawn to Dundonald, followed by a fleet of mourners, to attend the wake at the family home.”

This sentence had me a little confused and I think it's only a question of its position in the narrative. In the preceding sentence, you mention that Marjorie and the gang have reached the cars and, as of the second sentence, are on their way to Dundonald, presumably in those same cars. This leads me to believe that Louise is part of this fleet of mourners so, when you then say that Louise looks back at her husband's plot, I'm a little thrown. I thought she was already in the car. The second sentence, or at least its second part, describing the fleet of mourners and their destination, should come a little later, after Louise has climbed into her own vehicle.

*

"...standing by the hole that the gravediggers had now draped in bright green false grass"

I’d suggest scratching “…that the gravediggers had…” and replacing it with “…which was…”

*

"God they're nosie here."

Where's "here"? The graveyard? The town? Is she assuming this woman is a local, or a member of the cemetery staff?

Also, what this thought tells me about Louise is that she is an easily irritated person, but not an especially curious one. I think most people would at least wonder who this mysterious woman might be.

*

“Stepping into the back seat of the car, Louise scrunched up the dog-eared piece of paper and stuffed it into her pocket. She turned her head to the window and stared into the distance. The countryside whizzed by.”

I like this revision.

*

“It was no surprise when her conscious mind returned to J-dub.”

This sentence seems needlessly long. You're right; it's no surprise, so it doesn't have to be said. I'd suggest keeping it to: "Her conscious mind returned to J-dub."

*

“It had all been so sudden and unexpected.” >>> "His death had been so sudden and unexpected."

*

“He had just completed his annual company medical and been given the all clear.”

Not sure this sentence is necessary since you go on to specify that his cause of death could not have been foreseen by a medical exam. This means that the exam, in the context of his death and manner of death, was irrelevant.

*

"According to the grapevine…"

To me, grapevine denotes a talk amongst friends and acquaintances, a rumor mill. That an aneurism is a quick and painless way to die is not a rumor. Consider changing "the grapevine" to "her research," or "her sources. Or even replace the phrase with something along the lines of "Louise understood that…" or "Louise had learned that…"

*

“To their credit, however, they were swift, silent and surreptitious.”

I'd refer to the aneurysm again, just to clarify--"their" and "they" is vague.

"To their credit, however, aneurisms were…" Or eliminate "To their credit," beginning with "However…" (bad form in non-fiction but arguably acceptable in fiction) or, make it "Aneurisms, however, were…"

A final option (from me, anyway): "Louise had learned that aneurisms in the brain did not give warning or opportunities to say goodbye; they were swift, silent and surreptitious."

That said, you should consider the possibility that one of the two above phrases is redundant. Things that are swift and silent rarely give warnings.

*

"It wasn't quite what she'd imagined a last goodbye to be."

What did she imagine it to be? I'll tell you, I've got several important people in my life and I have never imagined how my last goodbye to them would be. Has she? If so, what was it?

The last bit--describing Louise's last exchange with J-dub--is good, but it feels a little flat. Maybe a little dialogue would liven it up?

You describe all kinds of things I would love to see and which could be used to illustrate their last goodbye. Maybe include one of those playful exchanges you mentioned. Maybe they both crack wise as he heads out the door (about she ruling the world, about his being her defender/bouncer, she could "command" him to tell her his plans for her birthday and he would answer in his usual cheeky manner)?

*

I'm not entirely sure what genre this story is meant to fit into (romance, thriller, general), but I think that's a good thing. It works as any or all, so far. I think you could add a little here and there to better flesh out Louise's character--giving us a fuller description of a scene illustrating her relationship with her husband would be one way.

So far, the pace is good. It feels patient without being slow. The introduction of the mystery woman has me intrigued. Highlight it a little more. Have Louise wonder about the woman, not just dismiss her as a nosey vagrant (which directs your reader to do the same)--unless, of course, the mystery woman never shows again, in which case chuck her (but I'm sure that's not the case).

Looking forward to seeing your rewrites and reading the next section.

As always, these were just suggestions and ideas and based on naught but my opinion.

Thanks for sharing!

Andre

Offline 510bhan

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Re: continuation of The Occasional Mistress
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2011, 04:31:47 PM »
Thanks Andre - some good catches there.

The children are mentioned on the grandfather's tombstone - the point is;, this is from Louise's POV and as she is clutching his wife (her MIL) and is flanked by her children (his g'children - they're the only ones) she misses him and knows he would have been a great support had he been around.

The stranger at the graveside does feature again later with an explanation. It's meant to be a 'flicker' - revealed why later.

Wise-cracks and suchlike occur at the wake which follows quickly  upon this scene. Louise gets more fleshed out when she spends the night at her friend's house after the funeral/wake.

'here' is NI

Good points about the aneurism.

The fleet of mourners are the rest of the people who attended the graveside other than the immediate family, who are the ones mentioned and go off in the first set of vehicles. They are following the car to the house.
Maybe:
On reaching the sleek, black cars, Marjorie was joined by Peter, Mervyn and Stella, each with their heads lowered. Marty and Sasha accompanied Louise in the same doleful manner. Stepping into the back seat of the car, Louise scrunched up the dog-eared piece of paper and stuffed it into her pocket. The parties left Roselawn for Dundonald, followed by a fleet of mourners, to attend the wake at the family home. Louise gave a final glance towards the grave and noticed a woman who hadn’t been part of the congregation standing by the hole now draped in bright green false grass. God they’re nosey here. She turned her head to the window. The countryside whizzed by. ??? ??? ???

Have to dash - daughter wants her laptop back :D :D


I'm back!


     Her conscious mind returned to J-dub. Having completed his annual company medical and been given the all clear, his death was so sudden and unexpected. From what she understood, aneurisms in the brain didn’t give warnings - or opportunities to say goodbye. To their credit, however, aneurisms were swift, silent and surreptitious. Considering this, Louise reflected that he hadn’t suffered and for that she was glad.

The intention with this chapter is to introduce the mc Louise Kilpatrick and establish the circumstances that make her take the course of action she chooses, get a couple of the minor characters established and to show how emotionally vulnerable (without being a basket case) she is. Louise if flippant, quirky and has a sick sense of humour - even when she isn't distressed or unbalanced! Hence, her strange tone at times. She can be wordy or terribly abrupt, depending on her mood. I think readers will end up liking her or having sympathy for her once they get to know her.

Last goodbyes either never happen or they're addressed to a corpse. She did that with her parents. Possibly, those used to their partners being in the military might wonder if this is a last goodbye each time they are deployed on detachment, especially when it's to a dodgy place. She has friends who are police officers in NI. Or . . . if your family migrate to the other side of the world and you wonder if you'll ever see them again. (She has family who live in Australia)

There's more to come and I hope it unfolds to the reader's satisfaction. ;) ;) ;)
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 05:57:40 PM by 510bhan »

Silt

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Re: continuation of The Occasional Mistress
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2011, 06:00:38 PM »
hello sio

very nice reviews given. I enjoyed yours, AndreOF, always good to see a nice critique, I learn from them.

---

They passed by her father-in-law’s grave that backed the plot in which her husband lay. It reminded her of own parents, long since passed away. His tombstone informed he was beloved husband of Marjorie and father of Peter, Mervyn, Joseph and Stella, gone but not forgotten. Louise gripped Marjorie tighter, for both their sakes. Bill Kilpatrick, loving father and husband, would have wanted to console his wife, his daughter-in-law and his grandchildren.

--

I don't think a lot of this top para. you mentioned in the previous link that they linked arms and sauntered(i wasn't keen on that word, it felt too casual, like a walk through a park rather than one of pain). But you brought up that louise came out of her pain to remember majories. I think you could handle that better using majorie as that  event. Maybe have marjorie's comforting hand grip louise's arm as the pass by her loved ones' graves. a 'grip' shows a single change of emotions more definitively than one which already is happening, but only just got tighter. This way you don't put an emotion in front of an cause. it gives reason to the cause.

---

On reaching the sleek, black cars, Marjorie was joined by Peter, Mervyn and Stella, each with their head bowed. Marty and Sasha accompanied Louise in the same doleful manner and the parties set off from Roselawn to Dundonald, followed by a fleet of mourners, to attend the wake at the family home. Louise gave a final glance towards the grave and noticed a woman who hadn’t been part of the congregation standing by the hole that the gravediggers had now draped in bright green false grass. God they’re nosey here. Stepping into the back seat of the car, Louise scrunched up the dog-eared piece of paper and stuffed it into her pocket, turned her head to the window and ignored the countryside whizzing by.

--

sleek - is too sexy of a word to use when describing a funeral, if a woman wore a sleek black dress to the funeral it would raise some eyes. its not so much as the word, but the contrast in description.

it is hard to walk with your head bowed. maybe if marjorie and louise joined them at the cars. marjorie and louise could have delayed a moment while marjorie gathered herself if you are concerned about who would get there first. i think it is just movement with head bowed, it can be down but it looks more like a submissive nature rather than sorrow.

doleful - i wasn't sure of, could be me.

who got into the cars, you didn't say and because there are so many different groups, well 3, i was unsure, could guess, but should I have to?

**standing by the hole that the gravediggers had now draped in bright green false grass** - this could go, you are telling me things twice almost three times in that one sentence.

she looked back to see a strange woman by the grave - or something like that, i don't need to know about the gravediggers, the false grass. if it heightened the story, then I'd say yes, but you let it go and go onto the woman and what she is doing. so set the setting but don't clutter it with too many images, if that setting is important for others.

the last line - you have her just getting into the car, and then resting her head against the window to watch the countryside whiz by.  that is some quick acceleration, especially in a graveyard which has slow slow slow speed limits, but even if she started at the side of a highway, the time from her glance back, to getting in, to resting head - didn't show enough of a time space to get that much speed up.

---

:( I'm too talkative today, but these are just thoughts, feel free to ignore. I read this first just as a piece and could understand it fine as is, so my suggestions are just another writer's opinions. plus you know how i go on in these critiques :P

thanks for the read
sorry about that ramble

Silt



Offline 510bhan

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Re: continuation of The Occasional Mistress
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2011, 06:21:38 PM »
Cheers sweetie (Silt - Gawd I am a cheeky mare ;))

Some of the points you have raised I've addressed in response to Andre who mentioned similar things. I'll have a tweak at the observations that irked you and see if I can make any improvement without compromising my style - Christ that sounds arrogant but I don't mean it to be.

They've just attended the funeral of J-dub (Joseph William Kilpatrick ). Box 7 in this thread has its latest revision http://www.mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=29999.45

   


     Louise noticed her father-in-law’s grave, backed on the plot in which her husband lay. As they walked by, it reminded her of own parents, long since passed away. His tombstone informed he was beloved husband of Marjorie and father of Peter, Mervyn, Joseph and Stella, gone but not forgotten. Louise's comforting hand gripped over Marjorie's. Bill Kilpatrick, loving father and husband, would have wanted to console his wife, his daughter-in-law and his grandchildren.
     
     On reaching the funeral cars, Marjorie was joined by Peter, Mervyn and Stella, each with their heads lowered. Marty and Sasha accompanied Louise in the same doleful manner. Stepping into the back seat of the car, Louise scrunched up the dog-eared piece of paper and stuffed it into her pocket. The parties left Roselawn for Dundonald, followed by a fleet of mourners, to attend the wake at the family home. Louise gave a final glance towards the grave and noticed a woman who hadn’t been part of the congregation standing by the hole now draped in bright green false grass. God they’re nosey here. She turned her head to the window but gave another look toward the stranger before resigning herself to the journey. The countryside whizzed by.
     
     Her conscious mind returned to J-dub. Having completed his annual company medical and been given the all clear, his death was so sudden and unexpected. From what she understood, aneurisms in the brain didn’t give warnings - or opportunities to say goodbye. To their credit, however, aneurisms were swift, silent and surreptitious. Considering this, Louise reflected that he hadn’t suffered and for that she was glad.

     She recalled her last living memory of him. He had been waving goodbye as he went to collect the meat and booze from the wholesalers for the party. Perhaps then, she mused, there had been a goodbye, albeit from behind the wheel of a car as he reversed down the driveway. It wasn’t quite what she had imagined a last goodbye to be. The recollection of J-dub was of someone full of life, brimming with enthusiasm, excited about the forthcoming party. He’d told her that he’d something special planned and couldn’t wait to see her face when the surprise would be revealed. With a smile, a wink and the devil dancing in his eyes, he’d driven away satisfied with his scheming. They always schemed together. They had plans for her Empire. When she ruled the world everything would be right and he had asked if he could join -- he would seek vengeance on the wrongdoers for her. She had told him he would only be a bouncer but he was her first . . . and only recruit. They used to talk some shite but they were good at it and it made them laugh -- often.


Offline Andre Farant

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Re: continuation of The Occasional Mistress
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2011, 09:54:12 PM »
Hey Sio,

Great revisions. I think it reads much more clearly and smoothly.

"The parties left Roselawn for Dundonald, followed by a fleet of mourners..."

Hate to be a bore, but I'm still having issues with the above quote and I think I know why: The use of the word "parties," and stating that they have left, makes me assume that Louise has also left (in her car) because I assume she is part of one of those parties. You have parties, mourners (the other guests, aside from immediate family), and then, seemingly on her own, is Louise.

Maybe stating that they (the parties) "prepared to leave" (or something along those lines), rather than actually having left. This would allow for the possibility that any one of them, including Louise, might be lagging behind--to shoot look back at the grave and notice the mystery woman, for instance.

Just a thought.

Again, the new version is vastly improved, and you've done so with only minor tweeks (which speaks volumes--positively--of your original draft).


Thanks again!

Andre

Offline Biola

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Re: continuation of The Occasional Mistress
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2011, 05:07:49 AM »
small confession, I was attracted by the title and soon discovered I should read from the beginning, need to go make dinner so will come back but liked what I have read so far.
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: continuation of The Occasional Mistress
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2011, 07:52:06 AM »
Hi Andre and Biola - thanks for popping in. :) :) :)


Andre - I'd played with rephrasing that but the 'prepared to' sounded clumsy so near to 'to attend'. I'll think it again. I've put the children in with her - does that help? ???

 On reaching the funeral cars, Marjorie was joined by Peter, Mervyn and Stella, each with their heads lowered. Marty and Sasha accompanied Louise in the same doleful manner. Stepping into the back seat of the car, Louise scrunched up the dog-eared piece of paper and stuffed it into her pocket. Marty and Sasha slid in beside her, silent. The parties left Roselawn for Dundonald, followed by a fleet of mourners, to attend the wake at the family home. Louise gave a final glance towards the grave and noticed a woman who hadn’t been part of the congregation standing by the hole now draped in bright green false grass. God they’re nosey here. She turned her head to the window but gave another look toward the stranger before resigning herself to the journey. The countryside whizzed by.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2011, 07:47:48 PM by 510bhan »