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Re: Living In The Past (short story)

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  • agoodchap
    ... and read it for myself. So thanks for that. But I have to disagree with some of your comments, so I thought to add a few pennies worth myself. In
    Message 1 of 8 , May 31, 2006
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      ---I saw your crit of this story and was intregued enough to go back
      and read it for myself. So thanks for that. But I have to disagree
      with some of your comments, so I thought to add a few pennies worth
      myself.

      In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "ralphbaisley" <ralphbaisley@...>
      wrote:
      >
      >
      > >Hi Metta,
      >
      > I like the overall idea, but I thought it needs quite a bit of
      work.
      > Queenie seems a bit cartoonish to me. I believe it would be far
      > better to make her sympathetic or even nice.

      Why? Why should her charactor be nice? I write about older
      unpleasent women all the time as I hate the idea of pushing the
      common stereotype of sweet little old ladies. Many many little old
      ladies are not sweet by a long chalk.

      A mean, black-and-white
      > character has no depth.

      I almost agree, Nora and Queenie could be fleshed out more.

      This man in the well is also very vague.
      > Give him a name and a brief desciption. Give your protagonist a
      > name, too. Could she overhear people talking about the missing
      man's
      > kind acts and wonder why he went missing?

      Again why should the man be kind? It enough that he was a missing
      man. He could be fleshed out more too, but its not nessessary to
      give him a 'nice' charactor, just a fuller one. And its enough that
      Nora read about him being missing after all in the story most of the
      town people weren't talking to her, they're hardly likely to talk
      about Queenie within her hearing, remembering Nora would be close by.

      Perhaps your character
      > could discover a news clipping that describes a dispute between
      > Queenie and him. They might have fought over land or water
      rights.
      > If Queenie is outwardly kind and is only secretive about the well,
      > then her behavior becomes all the more suspicious. Why is this
      nice
      > woman acting so strange when it comes to this one subject?

      Err because she isn't nice and she has got something to hide. This
      ties in with the the desparate need for Nora to escape later.


      Perhaps a
      > broken gun, bloodstains or a bullet lodged in a wall could be
      > discovered to give clues to what occurred.
      > There is also a fundamental gap in logic here. Why would a woman
      > throw a dead body down her closest and best well? In the country,
      > water is her lifeline. It would be absurd for Queenie to poison
      her
      > own water. This doesn't make sense.

      Good point. Queenie would need another water source to make that
      possible.


      If she had arthritis, or if
      > this killing were done on the spur of the moment, then maybe this
      was
      > the only spot she could manage to drag it to. This might explain
      > such an unusual move. Trying to cover the crime yelling "none of
      > your business" etc. would only make people suspicious. She
      shouldn't
      > be so stupid that she wouldn't know this.

      She might be that stupid, real life criminals often are. She might
      be insane, even more of a reason for Nora to 'leg it'.


      Also, I'd like the smell
      > of the decomposing body to be a bit more subtle and the body's
      > discovery to be more concrete. Could Queenie still be using the
      > well? Does she insist that our protagonist strain and boil the
      > water? Could our character discover lumps of flesh, fingernails,
      > hairs etc. floating in the brew? Now that's horrific.

      EEEWwwww! shades of Steven king there methinks, and unnessesary the
      smell of decomposing should be suffient, if anything else was needed
      perhaps a peak under the cover of the well (I'm assuming it was
      capped) to see a hand or something.


      I think the
      > bones of a good story are all here. This is definitely a keeper.
      > Your sentence structure is sound, but you need to flesh out the
      > details more. If someone's using a hand crank to start their car,
      > roughly what year is this? It's past the Victorian era, but not
      > quite modern.

      Sounds like the time between 1900 - 1930's to me. It has that feel
      to it, and remote farming people of that time wouldn't have been
      brought up on crime novels and TV to know the best place to hide a
      body or what behaviour would give the game away.

      Sputtering or spluttering? Eeeeek! Try making some
      > changes and reposting. I'll look forward to it.

      Lol go with spluttering!

      Alison
      >
      >
    • ralphbaisley
      ... back ... disagree ... I guess we ll have to agree to disagree. I ll try to explain my logic. The problem with Metta s story is it revolves around a
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 1, 2006
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        --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "agoodchap" <agoodchap@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > ---I saw your crit of this story and was intregued enough to go
        back
        > and read it for myself. So thanks for that. But I have to
        disagree
        > with some of your comments, so I thought to add a few pennies worth
        > myself.
        >
        > In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "ralphbaisley" <ralphbaisley@>
        > wrote:
        > >Hi Alison,

        I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I'll try to explain my
        logic. The problem with Metta's story is it revolves around a murder
        in a very vague way. Who was murdered? Some man. Giving a brief
        description, making him a bit human, helps the reader feel sympathy
        for his loss. Why should he be kind? Because he's the victim and
        knowing something positive about helps the reader identify with him
        and feel a greater loss. Why should the old lady be nice? Because
        it creates conflict. She's a murderer after all. Wouldn't she be
        more interesting if she was conflicted or mournful about her loss?
        This has nothing to do with stereotypes of sweet little old ladies.
        It has to do with the writer adding levels of complexity to the
        character. This would create an inner conflict in Nora that doesn't
        exist in the story as it's now written. How could this kind old
        woman do such a heinous act? Why is she crying in room at night? A
        character who's mean, forces labor from this girl, growls about not
        talking etc. seems far more like an evil stereotype to me. I believe
        Nora should be a relative of this woman. Then she could give
        background about her eccentric old aunt. This would tie in nicely
        with Queenie making lots of socks which seems to be just an odd bit
        of information without any background to tie it to.
        Why would I include the graphic details of parts floating in the
        well? Because this is essentially a horror story. It certainly
        isn't a murder mystery or whodunit. Go back to your basics. Who,
        what, where, when, why and how. Who? Some guy from a town. What?
        He was murdered. (Maybe or maybe not) By whom? Queenie (Maybe)
        Where? Somewhere on the farm? Maybe. When? Unknow. Why? No
        information. How? No information. There is too much missing here
        for this to be a puzzler, so I assume it's a horror story. You'd put
        horror into a horror story, wouldn't you. To me, this story screams
        to be written in first-person. Also, this throwing the body down the
        well has to make more sense. This has to be a choice of last
        resort. It reminds me of a recent CSI episode. A man killed some
        woman and then hauled the body to his attic and built a fake chimney
        around her. Besides the obvious problem of the rafters holding a
        half-ton of bricks it went against all reason. I screamed at the
        t.v., why did he go to all the bother. Theres a thousand square
        miles of desert around Vegas. Instead of taking her upstairs and
        blocking her inside your own property, why not drive to the desert
        and dump her in a shallow grave? Because the writers wanted to catch
        him in this fashion. Still, it makes no sense!!!!! Let's do
        something a hundred times harder that ties the killer to the body.
        The same illogic is true here. The body could've been buried on the
        farm. So why did she pitch it in a well? There has to be an
        absolutely logical reason Queenie did such an illogical thing.

        All my best,
        Da Baiz

        > >
        > > >Hi Metta,
        > >
        > > I like the overall idea, but I thought it needs quite a bit of
        > work.
        > > Queenie seems a bit cartoonish to me. I believe it would be far
        > > better to make her sympathetic or even nice.
        >
        > Why? Why should her charactor be nice? I write about older
        > unpleasent women all the time as I hate the idea of pushing the
        > common stereotype of sweet little old ladies. Many many little old
        > ladies are not sweet by a long chalk.
        >
        > A mean, black-and-white
        > > character has no depth.
        >
        > I almost agree, Nora and Queenie could be fleshed out more.
        >
        > This man in the well is also very vague.
        > > Give him a name and a brief desciption. Give your protagonist a
        > > name, too. Could she overhear people talking about the missing
        > man's
        > > kind acts and wonder why he went missing?
        >
        > Again why should the man be kind? It enough that he was a missing
        > man. He could be fleshed out more too, but its not nessessary to
        > give him a 'nice' charactor, just a fuller one. And its enough that
        > Nora read about him being missing after all in the story most of
        the
        > town people weren't talking to her, they're hardly likely to talk
        > about Queenie within her hearing, remembering Nora would be close
        by.
        >
        > Perhaps your character
        > > could discover a news clipping that describes a dispute between
        > > Queenie and him. They might have fought over land or water
        > rights.
        > > If Queenie is outwardly kind and is only secretive about the
        well,
        > > then her behavior becomes all the more suspicious. Why is this
        > nice
        > > woman acting so strange when it comes to this one subject?
        >
        > Err because she isn't nice and she has got something to hide. This
        > ties in with the the desparate need for Nora to escape later.
        >
        >
        > Perhaps a
        > > broken gun, bloodstains or a bullet lodged in a wall could be
        > > discovered to give clues to what occurred.
        > > There is also a fundamental gap in logic here. Why would a woman
        > > throw a dead body down her closest and best well? In the
        country,
        > > water is her lifeline. It would be absurd for Queenie to poison
        > her
        > > own water. This doesn't make sense.
        >
        > Good point. Queenie would need another water source to make that
        > possible.
        >
        >
        > If she had arthritis, or if
        > > this killing were done on the spur of the moment, then maybe this
        > was
        > > the only spot she could manage to drag it to. This might explain
        > > such an unusual move. Trying to cover the crime yelling "none of
        > > your business" etc. would only make people suspicious. She
        > shouldn't
        > > be so stupid that she wouldn't know this.
        >
        > She might be that stupid, real life criminals often are. She might
        > be insane, even more of a reason for Nora to 'leg it'.
        >
        >
        > Also, I'd like the smell
        > > of the decomposing body to be a bit more subtle and the body's
        > > discovery to be more concrete. Could Queenie still be using the
        > > well? Does she insist that our protagonist strain and boil the
        > > water? Could our character discover lumps of flesh, fingernails,
        > > hairs etc. floating in the brew? Now that's horrific.
        >
        > EEEWwwww! shades of Steven king there methinks, and unnessesary
        the
        > smell of decomposing should be suffient, if anything else was
        needed
        > perhaps a peak under the cover of the well (I'm assuming it was
        > capped) to see a hand or something.
        >
        >
        > I think the
        > > bones of a good story are all here. This is definitely a
        keeper.
        > > Your sentence structure is sound, but you need to flesh out the
        > > details more. If someone's using a hand crank to start their
        car,
        > > roughly what year is this? It's past the Victorian era, but not
        > > quite modern.
        >
        > Sounds like the time between 1900 - 1930's to me. It has that feel
        > to it, and remote farming people of that time wouldn't have been
        > brought up on crime novels and TV to know the best place to hide a
        > body or what behaviour would give the game away.
        >
        > Sputtering or spluttering? Eeeeek! Try making some
        > > changes and reposting. I'll look forward to it.
        >
        > Lol go with spluttering!
        >
        > Alison
        > >
        > >
        >
      • Jillian Gomez
        I kind of agree with Alison. I don t think it s necessary for Queenie (or the murder victim) to be nice. For one thing, making her nice would change the whole
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 2, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          I kind of agree with Alison. I don't think it's necessary for Queenie (or the murder victim) to be nice. For one thing, making her nice would change the whole story. The conflicts you're suggesting are good ideas, and would make an interesting story, but a totally different story. It's not the only way to make it work. What if Queenie is mean? Heck, what if the murder victim was mean, too? Maybe he was a crotchety old man just as evil as her. Maybe they both grew up in this town and have been bitter rivals since childhood, always plotting evil things against each other, and finally one night the lifetime of hatred finally boiled over and she ended up killing him. Maybe the well has some sort of significance to their past, like it could be the site where something terrible happened between them in their youth, some nasty event that the locals still whisper about years later, so that there's some irony or poetic justice when she kills him by throwing him in the well. Wouldn't that make for some interesting conflicts and background stories and fleshed-out characters? But it's not the only way to tell this story. There's no right way or wrong way, it just depends on what the writer wants to say and what direction they want to take it in. For me, I'd rather just have a little more character development and the answers to some of those "Why, how, who" questions. I though the story ended too abruptly, without enough explanation of what was going on. But that's just my 2 cents. 

          Jill G.

          On Jun 1, 2006, at 9:37 AM, ralphbaisley wrote:

          --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "agoodchap" <agoodchap@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > ---I saw your crit of this story and was intregued enough to go
          back
          > and read it for myself.  So thanks for that.  But I have to
          disagree
          > with some of your comments, so I thought to add a few pennies worth
          > myself.
          >
          >  In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "ralphbaisley" <ralphbaisley@>
          > wrote:
          > >Hi Alison,

          I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.  I'll try to explain my
          logic.  The problem with Metta's story is it revolves around a murder
          in a very vague way.  Who was murdered?  Some man.  Giving a brief
          description, making him a bit human, helps the reader feel sympathy
          for his loss.  Why should he be kind?  Because he's the victim and
          knowing something positive about helps the reader identify with him
          and feel a greater loss.  Why should the old lady be nice?  Because
          it creates conflict.  She's a murderer after all.  Wouldn't she be
          more interesting if she was conflicted or mournful about her loss? 
          This has nothing to do with stereotypes of sweet little old ladies. 
          It has to do with the writer adding levels of complexity to the
          character.  This would create an inner conflict in Nora that doesn't
          exist in the story as it's now written.  How could this kind old
          woman do such a heinous act?  Why is she crying in room at night?  A
          character who's mean, forces labor from this girl, growls about not
          talking etc. seems far more like an evil stereotype to me.  I believe
          Nora should be a relative of this woman.  Then she could give
          background about her eccentric old aunt.  This would tie in nicely
          with Queenie making lots of socks which seems to be just an odd bit
          of information without any background to tie it to.
          Why would I include the graphic details of parts floating in the
          well?  Because this is essentially a horror story.  It certainly
          isn't a murder mystery or whodunit.  Go back to your basics.  Who,
          what, where, when, why and how.  Who?  Some guy from a town.  What? 
          He was murdered.  (Maybe or maybe not)  By whom?  Queenie (Maybe) 
          Where?  Somewhere on the farm?  Maybe.  When?  Unknow.  Why?  No
          information.  How?  No information.  There is too much missing here
          for this to be a puzzler, so I assume it's a horror story.  You'd put
          horror into a horror story, wouldn't you.  To me, this story screams
          to be written in first-person.  Also, this throwing the body down the
          well has to make more sense.  This has to be a choice of last
          resort.  It reminds me of a recent CSI episode.  A man killed some
          woman and then hauled the body to his attic and built a fake chimney
          around her.  Besides the obvious problem of the rafters holding a
          half-ton of bricks it went against all reason.  I screamed at the
          t.v., why did he go to all the bother.  Theres a thousand square
          miles of desert around Vegas.  Instead of taking her upstairs and
          blocking her inside your own property, why not drive to the desert
          and dump her in a shallow grave?  Because the writers wanted to catch
          him in this fashion.  Still, it makes no sense!!!!!  Let's do
          something a hundred times harder that ties the killer to the body. 
          The same illogic is true here.  The body could've been buried on the
          farm.  So why did she pitch it in a well?  There has to be an
          absolutely logical reason Queenie did such an illogical thing.

          All my best,
          Da Baiz

          > >
          > > >Hi Metta,
          > >
          > > I like the overall idea, but I thought it needs quite a bit of
          > work. 
          > > Queenie seems a bit cartoonish to me.  I believe it would be far
          > > better to make her sympathetic or even nice. 
          >
          > Why?  Why should her charactor be nice? I write about older
          > unpleasent women all the time as I hate the idea of pushing the
          > common stereotype of sweet little old ladies.  Many many little old
          > ladies are not sweet by a long chalk.
          >
          > A mean, black-and-white
          > > character has no depth. 
          >
          > I almost agree, Nora and Queenie could be fleshed out more.
          >
          > This man in the well is also very vague. 
          > > Give him a name and a brief desciption.  Give your protagonist a
          > > name, too.  Could she overhear people talking about the missing
          > man's
          > > kind acts and wonder why he went missing?
          >
          > Again why should the man be kind?  It enough that he was a missing
          > man.  He could be fleshed out more too, but its not nessessary to
          > give him a 'nice' charactor, just a fuller one. And its enough that
          > Nora read about him being missing after all in the story most of
          the
          > town people weren't talking to her, they're hardly likely to talk
          > about Queenie within her hearing, remembering Nora would be close
          by.
          >
          > Perhaps your character
          > > could discover a news clipping that describes a dispute between
          > > Queenie and him.  They might have fought over land or water
          > rights. 
          > > If Queenie is outwardly kind and is only secretive about the
          well,
          > > then her behavior becomes all the more suspicious.  Why is this
          > nice
          > > woman acting so strange when it comes to this one subject?
          >
          > Err because she isn't nice and she has got something to hide.  This
          > ties in with the the desparate need for Nora to escape later.
          >
          >
          >  Perhaps a
          > > broken gun, bloodstains or a bullet lodged in a wall could be
          > > discovered to give clues to what occurred.
          > > There is also a fundamental gap in logic here.  Why would a woman
          > > throw a dead body down her closest and best well?  In the
          country,
          > > water is her lifeline.  It would be absurd for Queenie to poison
          > her
          > > own water.  This doesn't make sense. 
          >
          > Good point.  Queenie would need another water source to make that
          > possible.
          >
          >
          > If she had arthritis, or if
          > > this killing were done on the spur of the moment, then maybe this
          > was
          > > the only spot she could manage to drag it to.  This might explain
          > > such an unusual move.  Trying to cover the crime yelling "none of
          > > your business" etc. would only make people suspicious.  She
          > shouldn't
          > > be so stupid that she wouldn't know this.
          >
          > She might be that stupid, real life criminals often are.  She might
          > be insane, even more of a reason for Nora to 'leg it'.
          >
          >
          >  Also, I'd like the smell
          > > of the decomposing body to be a bit more subtle and the body's
          > > discovery to be more concrete.  Could Queenie still be using the
          > > well?  Does she insist that our protagonist strain and boil the
          > > water?  Could our character discover lumps of flesh, fingernails,
          > > hairs etc. floating in the brew?  Now that's horrific. 
          >
          > EEEWwwww!  shades of Steven king there methinks, and unnessesary
          the
          > smell of decomposing should be suffient, if anything else was
          needed
          > perhaps a peak under the cover of the well (I'm assuming it was
          > capped) to see a hand or something. 
          >
          >
          > I think the
          > > bones of a good story are all here.  This is definitely a
          keeper. 
          > > Your sentence structure is sound, but you need to flesh out the
          > > details more.  If someone's using a hand crank to start their
          car,
          > > roughly what year is this?  It's past the Victorian era, but not
          > > quite modern. 
          >
          > Sounds like the time between 1900 - 1930's to me.  It has that feel
          > to it, and remote farming people of that time wouldn't have been
          > brought up on crime novels and TV to know the best place to hide a
          > body or what behaviour would give the game away.
          >
          > Sputtering or spluttering?  Eeeeek!  Try making some
          > > changes and reposting.  I'll look forward to it.
          >
          > Lol go with spluttering!
          >
          > Alison
          > >
          > >
          >










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        • ralphbaisley
          ... I like your idea of the well having significance. Although this scenario is now starting to sound a lot like The Ring. Still, it s a time-tested device
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 2, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, Jillian Gomez <cockatiel.bz@...>
            wrote:
            >Yes Jill,

            I like your idea of the well having significance. Although this
            scenario is now starting to sound a lot like The Ring. Still, it's a
            time-tested device and a real nice tie to justify the act. It would
            make going to a more distant water source worth the effort in her
            rotten, crazy, sick, twisted, warped, demented, addled and completely
            evil mind. Ahhh! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! (evil laughter) Ahhh! Ha! Ha!
            Ha! Ha! (100% evil stereotype free)

            All my best,
            Da Baiz




            > I kind of agree with Alison. I don't think it's necessary for
            Queenie
            > (or the murder victim) to be nice. For one thing, making her nice
            > would change the whole story. The conflicts you're suggesting are
            > good ideas, and would make an interesting story, but a totally
            > different story. It's not the only way to make it work. What if
            > Queenie is mean? Heck, what if the murder victim was mean, too?
            Maybe
            > he was a crotchety old man just as evil as her. Maybe they both
            grew
            > up in this town and have been bitter rivals since childhood,
            always
            > plotting evil things against each other, and finally one night the
            > lifetime of hatred finally boiled over and she ended up killing
            him.
            > Maybe the well has some sort of significance to their past, like
            it
            > could be the site where something terrible happened between them
            in
            > their youth, some nasty event that the locals still whisper about
            > years later, so that there's some irony or poetic justice when she
            > kills him by throwing him in the well. Wouldn't that make for some
            > interesting conflicts and background stories and fleshed-out
            > characters? But it's not the only way to tell this story. There's
            no
            > right way or wrong way, it just depends on what the writer wants
            to
            > say and what direction they want to take it in. For me, I'd rather
            > just have a little more character development and the answers to
            some
            > of those "Why, how, who" questions. I though the story ended too
            > abruptly, without enough explanation of what was going on. But
            that's
            > just my 2 cents.
            >
            > Jill G.
            >
            > On Jun 1, 2006, at 9:37 AM, ralphbaisley wrote:
            >
            > > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "agoodchap" <agoodchap@>
            > > wrote:
            > > >
            > > > ---I saw your crit of this story and was intregued enough to go
            > > back
            > > > and read it for myself. So thanks for that. But I have to
            > > disagree
            > > > with some of your comments, so I thought to add a few pennies
            worth
            > > > myself.
            > > >
            > > > In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "ralphbaisley" <ralphbaisley@>
            > > > wrote:
            > > > >Hi Alison,
            > >
            > > I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I'll try to explain my
            > > logic. The problem with Metta's story is it revolves around a
            murder
            > > in a very vague way. Who was murdered? Some man. Giving a brief
            > > description, making him a bit human, helps the reader feel
            sympathy
            > > for his loss. Why should he be kind? Because he's the victim and
            > > knowing something positive about helps the reader identify with
            him
            > > and feel a greater loss. Why should the old lady be nice?
            Because
            > > it creates conflict. She's a murderer after all. Wouldn't she be
            > > more interesting if she was conflicted or mournful about her loss?
            > > This has nothing to do with stereotypes of sweet little old
            ladies.
            > > It has to do with the writer adding levels of complexity to the
            > > character. This would create an inner conflict in Nora that
            doesn't
            > > exist in the story as it's now written. How could this kind old
            > > woman do such a heinous act? Why is she crying in room at
            night? A
            > > character who's mean, forces labor from this girl, growls about
            not
            > > talking etc. seems far more like an evil stereotype to me. I
            believe
            > > Nora should be a relative of this woman. Then she could give
            > > background about her eccentric old aunt. This would tie in nicely
            > > with Queenie making lots of socks which seems to be just an odd
            bit
            > > of information without any background to tie it to.
            > > Why would I include the graphic details of parts floating in the
            > > well? Because this is essentially a horror story. It certainly
            > > isn't a murder mystery or whodunit. Go back to your basics. Who,
            > > what, where, when, why and how. Who? Some guy from a town.
            What?
            > > He was murdered. (Maybe or maybe not) By whom? Queenie (Maybe)
            > > Where? Somewhere on the farm? Maybe. When? Unknow. Why? No
            > > information. How? No information. There is too much missing
            here
            > > for this to be a puzzler, so I assume it's a horror story. You'd
            put
            > > horror into a horror story, wouldn't you. To me, this story
            screams
            > > to be written in first-person. Also, this throwing the body down
            the
            > > well has to make more sense. This has to be a choice of last
            > > resort. It reminds me of a recent CSI episode. A man killed some
            > > woman and then hauled the body to his attic and built a fake
            chimney
            > > around her. Besides the obvious problem of the rafters holding a
            > > half-ton of bricks it went against all reason. I screamed at the
            > > t.v., why did he go to all the bother. Theres a thousand square
            > > miles of desert around Vegas. Instead of taking her upstairs and
            > > blocking her inside your own property, why not drive to the desert
            > > and dump her in a shallow grave? Because the writers wanted to
            catch
            > > him in this fashion. Still, it makes no sense!!!!! Let's do
            > > something a hundred times harder that ties the killer to the body.
            > > The same illogic is true here. The body could've been buried on
            the
            > > farm. So why did she pitch it in a well? There has to be an
            > > absolutely logical reason Queenie did such an illogical thing.
            > >
            > > All my best,
            > > Da Baiz
            > >
            > > > >
            > > > > >Hi Metta,
            > > > >
            > > > > I like the overall idea, but I thought it needs quite a bit of
            > > > work.
            > > > > Queenie seems a bit cartoonish to me. I believe it would be
            far
            > > > > better to make her sympathetic or even nice.
            > > >
            > > > Why? Why should her charactor be nice? I write about older
            > > > unpleasent women all the time as I hate the idea of pushing the
            > > > common stereotype of sweet little old ladies. Many many little
            old
            > > > ladies are not sweet by a long chalk.
            > > >
            > > > A mean, black-and-white
            > > > > character has no depth.
            > > >
            > > > I almost agree, Nora and Queenie could be fleshed out more.
            > > >
            > > > This man in the well is also very vague.
            > > > > Give him a name and a brief desciption. Give your
            protagonist a
            > > > > name, too. Could she overhear people talking about the
            missing
            > > > man's
            > > > > kind acts and wonder why he went missing?
            > > >
            > > > Again why should the man be kind? It enough that he was a
            missing
            > > > man. He could be fleshed out more too, but its not nessessary
            to
            > > > give him a 'nice' charactor, just a fuller one. And its enough
            that
            > > > Nora read about him being missing after all in the story most of
            > > the
            > > > town people weren't talking to her, they're hardly likely to
            talk
            > > > about Queenie within her hearing, remembering Nora would be
            close
            > > by.
            > > >
            > > > Perhaps your character
            > > > > could discover a news clipping that describes a dispute
            between
            > > > > Queenie and him. They might have fought over land or water
            > > > rights.
            > > > > If Queenie is outwardly kind and is only secretive about the
            > > well,
            > > > > then her behavior becomes all the more suspicious. Why is
            this
            > > > nice
            > > > > woman acting so strange when it comes to this one subject?
            > > >
            > > > Err because she isn't nice and she has got something to hide.
            This
            > > > ties in with the the desparate need for Nora to escape later.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Perhaps a
            > > > > broken gun, bloodstains or a bullet lodged in a wall could be
            > > > > discovered to give clues to what occurred.
            > > > > There is also a fundamental gap in logic here. Why would a
            woman
            > > > > throw a dead body down her closest and best well? In the
            > > country,
            > > > > water is her lifeline. It would be absurd for Queenie to
            poison
            > > > her
            > > > > own water. This doesn't make sense.
            > > >
            > > > Good point. Queenie would need another water source to make
            that
            > > > possible.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > If she had arthritis, or if
            > > > > this killing were done on the spur of the moment, then maybe
            this
            > > > was
            > > > > the only spot she could manage to drag it to. This might
            explain
            > > > > such an unusual move. Trying to cover the crime
            yelling "none of
            > > > > your business" etc. would only make people suspicious. She
            > > > shouldn't
            > > > > be so stupid that she wouldn't know this.
            > > >
            > > > She might be that stupid, real life criminals often are. She
            might
            > > > be insane, even more of a reason for Nora to 'leg it'.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Also, I'd like the smell
            > > > > of the decomposing body to be a bit more subtle and the body's
            > > > > discovery to be more concrete. Could Queenie still be using
            the
            > > > > well? Does she insist that our protagonist strain and boil
            the
            > > > > water? Could our character discover lumps of flesh,
            fingernails,
            > > > > hairs etc. floating in the brew? Now that's horrific.
            > > >
            > > > EEEWwwww! shades of Steven king there methinks, and unnessesary
            > > the
            > > > smell of decomposing should be suffient, if anything else was
            > > needed
            > > > perhaps a peak under the cover of the well (I'm assuming it was
            > > > capped) to see a hand or something.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > I think the
            > > > > bones of a good story are all here. This is definitely a
            > > keeper.
            > > > > Your sentence structure is sound, but you need to flesh out
            the
            > > > > details more. If someone's using a hand crank to start their
            > > car,
            > > > > roughly what year is this? It's past the Victorian era, but
            not
            > > > > quite modern.
            > > >
            > > > Sounds like the time between 1900 - 1930's to me. It has that
            feel
            > > > to it, and remote farming people of that time wouldn't have been
            > > > brought up on crime novels and TV to know the best place to
            hide a
            > > > body or what behaviour would give the game away.
            > > >
            > > > Sputtering or spluttering? Eeeeek! Try making some
            > > > > changes and reposting. I'll look forward to it.
            > > >
            > > > Lol go with spluttering!
            > > >
            > > > Alison
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Learn more about ticket2wite at http://ticket2write.tripod.com
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > SPONSORED LINKS
            > > Creative writing Creative writing book Creative writing camp
            > > Creative writing help Creative writing online Creative
            writing school
            > >
            > > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
            > >
            > > Visit your group "ticket2write" on the web.
            > >
            > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > > ticket2write-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            > >
            > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
            Service.
            > >
            > >
            >
          • Jillian Gomez
            ... Really? I ve never seen that movie. Horror gives me nightmares. ... Riiiiight. (Backs away slowly) Jill G.
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 3, 2006
            • 0 Attachment

              On Jun 2, 2006, at 11:18 AM, ralphbaisley wrote:

              --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, Jillian Gomez <cockatiel.bz@...>
              wrote:
              >Yes Jill,

              I like your idea of the well having significance.  Although this
              scenario is now starting to sound a lot like The Ring. 

              Really? I've never seen that movie. Horror gives me nightmares. 

              Still, it's a
              time-tested device and a real nice tie to justify the act.  It would
              make going to a more distant water source worth the effort in her
              rotten, crazy, sick, twisted, warped, demented, addled and completely
              evil mind.  Ahhh!  Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! (evil laughter)  Ahhh!  Ha! Ha!
              Ha! Ha!  (100% evil stereotype free)

              Riiiiight. (Backs away slowly)

              Jill G.




              All my best,
              Da Baiz




              > I kind of agree with Alison. I don't think it's necessary for
              Queenie 
              > (or the murder victim) to be nice. For one thing, making her nice 
              > would change the whole story. The conflicts you're suggesting are 
              > good ideas, and would make an interesting story, but a totally 
              > different story. It's not the only way to make it work. What if 
              > Queenie is mean? Heck, what if the murder victim was mean, too?
              Maybe 
              > he was a crotchety old man just as evil as her. Maybe they both
              grew 
              > up in this town and have been bitter rivals since childhood,
              always 
              > plotting evil things against each other, and finally one night the 
              > lifetime of hatred finally boiled over and she ended up killing
              him. 
              > Maybe the well has some sort of significance to their past, like
              it 
              > could be the site where something terrible happened between them
              in 
              > their youth, some nasty event that the locals still whisper about 
              > years later, so that there's some irony or poetic justice when she 
              > kills him by throwing him in the well. Wouldn't that make for some 
              > interesting conflicts and background stories and fleshed-out 
              > characters? But it's not the only way to tell this story. There's
              no 
              > right way or wrong way, it just depends on what the writer wants
              to 
              > say and what direction they want to take it in. For me, I'd rather 
              > just have a little more character development and the answers to
              some 
              > of those "Why, how, who" questions. I though the story ended too 
              > abruptly, without enough explanation of what was going on. But
              that's 
              > just my 2 cents.
              >
              > Jill G.
              >
              > On Jun 1, 2006, at 9:37 AM, ralphbaisley wrote:
              >
              > > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "agoodchap" <agoodchap@>
              > > wrote:
              > > >
              > > > ---I saw your crit of this story and was intregued enough to go
              > > back
              > > > and read it for myself.  So thanks for that.  But I have to
              > > disagree
              > > > with some of your comments, so I thought to add a few pennies
              worth
              > > > myself.
              > > >
              > > >  In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "ralphbaisley" <ralphbaisley@>
              > > > wrote:
              > > > >Hi Alison,
              > >
              > > I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.  I'll try to explain my
              > > logic.  The problem with Metta's story is it revolves around a
              murder
              > > in a very vague way.  Who was murdered?  Some man.  Giving a brief
              > > description, making him a bit human, helps the reader feel
              sympathy
              > > for his loss.  Why should he be kind?  Because he's the victim and
              > > knowing something positive about helps the reader identify with
              him
              > > and feel a greater loss.  Why should the old lady be nice? 
              Because
              > > it creates conflict.  She's a murderer after all.  Wouldn't she be
              > > more interesting if she was conflicted or mournful about her loss?
              > > This has nothing to do with stereotypes of sweet little old
              ladies.
              > > It has to do with the writer adding levels of complexity to the
              > > character.  This would create an inner conflict in Nora that
              doesn't
              > > exist in the story as it's now written.  How could this kind old
              > > woman do such a heinous act?  Why is she crying in room at
              night?  A
              > > character who's mean, forces labor from this girl, growls about
              not
              > > talking etc. seems far more like an evil stereotype to me.  I
              believe
              > > Nora should be a relative of this woman.  Then she could give
              > > background about her eccentric old aunt.  This would tie in nicely
              > > with Queenie making lots of socks which seems to be just an odd
              bit
              > > of information without any background to tie it to.
              > > Why would I include the graphic details of parts floating in the
              > > well?  Because this is essentially a horror story.  It certainly
              > > isn't a murder mystery or whodunit.  Go back to your basics.  Who,
              > > what, where, when, why and how.  Who?  Some guy from a town. 
              What?
              > > He was murdered.  (Maybe or maybe not)  By whom?  Queenie (Maybe)
              > > Where?  Somewhere on the farm?  Maybe.  When?  Unknow.  Why?  No
              > > information.  How?  No information.  There is too much missing
              here
              > > for this to be a puzzler, so I assume it's a horror story.  You'd
              put
              > > horror into a horror story, wouldn't you.  To me, this story
              screams
              > > to be written in first-person.  Also, this throwing the body down
              the
              > > well has to make more sense.  This has to be a choice of last
              > > resort.  It reminds me of a recent CSI episode.  A man killed some
              > > woman and then hauled the body to his attic and built a fake
              chimney
              > > around her.  Besides the obvious problem of the rafters holding a
              > > half-ton of bricks it went against all reason.  I screamed at the
              > > t.v., why did he go to all the bother.  Theres a thousand square
              > > miles of desert around Vegas.  Instead of taking her upstairs and
              > > blocking her inside your own property, why not drive to the desert
              > > and dump her in a shallow grave?  Because the writers wanted to
              catch
              > > him in this fashion.  Still, it makes no sense!!!!!  Let's do
              > > something a hundred times harder that ties the killer to the body.
              > > The same illogic is true here.  The body could've been buried on
              the
              > > farm.  So why did she pitch it in a well?  There has to be an
              > > absolutely logical reason Queenie did such an illogical thing.
              > >
              > > All my best,
              > > Da Baiz
              > >
              > > > >
              > > > > >Hi Metta,
              > > > >
              > > > > I like the overall idea, but I thought it needs quite a bit of
              > > > work.
              > > > > Queenie seems a bit cartoonish to me.  I believe it would be
              far
              > > > > better to make her sympathetic or even nice.
              > > >
              > > > Why?  Why should her charactor be nice? I write about older
              > > > unpleasent women all the time as I hate the idea of pushing the
              > > > common stereotype of sweet little old ladies.  Many many little
              old
              > > > ladies are not sweet by a long chalk.
              > > >
              > > > A mean, black-and-white
              > > > > character has no depth.
              > > >
              > > > I almost agree, Nora and Queenie could be fleshed out more.
              > > >
              > > > This man in the well is also very vague.
              > > > > Give him a name and a brief desciption.  Give your
              protagonist a
              > > > > name, too.  Could she overhear people talking about the
              missing
              > > > man's
              > > > > kind acts and wonder why he went missing?
              > > >
              > > > Again why should the man be kind?  It enough that he was a
              missing
              > > > man.  He could be fleshed out more too, but its not nessessary
              to
              > > > give him a 'nice' charactor, just a fuller one. And its enough
              that
              > > > Nora read about him being missing after all in the story most of
              > > the
              > > > town people weren't talking to her, they're hardly likely to
              talk
              > > > about Queenie within her hearing, remembering Nora would be
              close
              > > by.
              > > >
              > > > Perhaps your character
              > > > > could discover a news clipping that describes a dispute
              between
              > > > > Queenie and him.  They might have fought over land or water
              > > > rights.
              > > > > If Queenie is outwardly kind and is only secretive about the
              > > well,
              > > > > then her behavior becomes all the more suspicious.  Why is
              this
              > > > nice
              > > > > woman acting so strange when it comes to this one subject?
              > > >
              > > > Err because she isn't nice and she has got something to hide. 
              This
              > > > ties in with the the desparate need for Nora to escape later.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >  Perhaps a
              > > > > broken gun, bloodstains or a bullet lodged in a wall could be
              > > > > discovered to give clues to what occurred.
              > > > > There is also a fundamental gap in logic here.  Why would a
              woman
              > > > > throw a dead body down her closest and best well?  In the
              > > country,
              > > > > water is her lifeline.  It would be absurd for Queenie to
              poison
              > > > her
              > > > > own water.  This doesn't make sense.
              > > >
              > > > Good point.  Queenie would need another water source to make
              that
              > > > possible.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > If she had arthritis, or if
              > > > > this killing were done on the spur of the moment, then maybe
              this
              > > > was
              > > > > the only spot she could manage to drag it to.  This might
              explain
              > > > > such an unusual move.  Trying to cover the crime
              yelling "none of
              > > > > your business" etc. would only make people suspicious.  She
              > > > shouldn't
              > > > > be so stupid that she wouldn't know this.
              > > >
              > > > She might be that stupid, real life criminals often are.  She
              might
              > > > be insane, even more of a reason for Nora to 'leg it'.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >  Also, I'd like the smell
              > > > > of the decomposing body to be a bit more subtle and the body's
              > > > > discovery to be more concrete.  Could Queenie still be using
              the
              > > > > well?  Does she insist that our protagonist strain and boil
              the
              > > > > water?  Could our character discover lumps of flesh,
              fingernails,
              > > > > hairs etc. floating in the brew?  Now that's horrific.
              > > >
              > > > EEEWwwww!  shades of Steven king there methinks, and unnessesary
              > > the
              > > > smell of decomposing should be suffient, if anything else was
              > > needed
              > > > perhaps a peak under the cover of the well (I'm assuming it was
              > > > capped) to see a hand or something.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > I think the
              > > > > bones of a good story are all here.  This is definitely a
              > > keeper.
              > > > > Your sentence structure is sound, but you need to flesh out
              the
              > > > > details more.  If someone's using a hand crank to start their
              > > car,
              > > > > roughly what year is this?  It's past the Victorian era, but
              not
              > > > > quite modern.
              > > >
              > > > Sounds like the time between 1900 - 1930's to me.  It has that
              feel
              > > > to it, and remote farming people of that time wouldn't have been
              > > > brought up on crime novels and TV to know the best place to
              hide a
              > > > body or what behaviour would give the game away.
              > > >
              > > > Sputtering or spluttering?  Eeeeek!  Try making some
              > > > > changes and reposting.  I'll look forward to it.
              > > >
              > > > Lol go with spluttering!
              > > >
              > > > Alison
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Learn more about ticket2wite at http://ticket2write.tripod.com
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > SPONSORED LINKS
              > > Creative writing      Creative writing book      Creative writing camp
              > > Creative writing help      Creative writing online      Creative
              writing school
              > >
              > > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
              > >
              > >  Visit your group "ticket2write" on the web.
              > >
              > >  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > >  ticket2write-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              > >
              > >  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
              Service.
              > >
              > >
              >








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