1. jacktheknife

    jacktheknife New Member

    Jun 8, 2010
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    A brilliant critique of my poor manuscript, thanks Teresa...♥

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by jacktheknife, Nov 28, 2011.

    Writers at 'Writing Forum.Org',

    I hope this is as interesting to you guys as it is to me but my cousin Teresa is a writer. She gave such a good critique of the most important chapter in my memoir I must share it. I'm 60 years old and cousin Teresa is at least almost 50... but I have known her all my life. She has always had a book in her hands or open somewhere and she is real smart. So I hope you guys {Y'all} can understand this without reading the chapter she is critiquing, as it shouldn't be published as it is the most important chapter in my book. {Wish I could though}

    Thank you...

    Jack the Knife


    Here is the chapter where I wake up from the coma and after I have just had 'the vision'. The rest of the 25 chapters are rational but remember all my notes as well as my memories are real fxxxxx up! The notes are unreadable and it is crudely written but then it's kinda supposed to be that way. This chapter is still being worked on and any publisher will change it anyway. I can't send the whole book cause there are 88,000 words and it is just too big. I can send a chapter at a time like every day but this one has great potential! It can't go at the first of the book because it is just too slow moving. I have the trial chapter for the beginning, chapter 1.}
    What do you think?

    {This is a real short quote from the chapter Teresa is editing to get y'all in the mood}

    I was seeing the girl in the door way. I managed twisting my lips upwards the best I could to imitate a smile. I knew it would be ugly but I figured that she was a nurse and she would know what I meant by it. Week’s later my mother told me the nurse came running out to tell her that I was conscious and that I smiled at her and gave her the peace sign and then promptly passed out again. That was on day twelve. I was out twenty three more days.

    This is my cousin Teresa's critique:

    Jack, you asked what I thought about your chapter organization, so I am thinking about it. I think for one thing that the clouds of breath suspended in the cold air need to be given a lot of emphasis throughout the book, because they can be seen as states of being, as little comas, as spirits contained in relationships, and as thought contexts, etc I think they are especially important as images and as concepts and should be allowed some considerable written and unwritten time. As for chapters, you have some repetition that could be eliminated (notice I am being officious today)--you could make an outline with most commentary about the coma, the motorcycle, the dogs, and reflective thoughts about your perception of God and spirit collected in sections. Then you will of course want to return to each of these sections throughout the story. It would be more sequential if you organized each experience as a section or chapter. Then you can have a thread of thought and action running through the book binding them together (like a motorcycle ride in darkness and light makes a thread of continuity). Most advice regarding writing advises cutting the length, and you have enough story to make it easy to cut it. Marci does not have any dialogue in the part that I have read, and you could add some of it, althought the image of her sitting beside you quietly is good (come is quiet, person keeping vigil is quiet), and does not need to be changed. You had some good dialogue for the girl on the telephone selling the dogs and for the dog named Joe. Maybe the other dogs need more time--they could say something in the style of a chorus to add to Joe's talk. You might consider adding some discussion of what forces were at work the night of the wreck that caused it to occur. I haven't read your next email about Chapter 7 yet, but I will read it today and give some thought to it. Now I have offered you enough busybody observer advice today. Be well. I will write again soon.


    Thank you Tisi...♥
    Jack the Knife
    {Cousin Jack}
  2. jacktheknife

    jacktheknife New Member

    Jun 8, 2010
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    I can't believe that I realized 'the thread of thought or action' my cousin was referring to which would weave my collection of short stories hopefully into a book was right in front of me.
    If it was a snake it would have bit me!
    I will post my E-mail to her but it, the thread, is the Doctors, therapists and the disability Judge who told me to write those stories down in the first place. They are the thread! It was so simple and I am so excited I have to share this too.
    I already told Teresa and don't have anyone else to tell. I have a years work right in front of me and it will be easy because I know what to do.

    Better get to work.

    Thank you for reading...♥

    J. Winters von Knife
    Sandymay and Dukedog


    I believe I have figured out the thread which runs through the chapters of short stories connecting them in book form. It was so obvious.
    Chapter #3 - Chapter #16 and actually the entire book is stories about unrelated subjects but stories that I wrote at the instigation of my Doctors, therapists and disability Judge! That's why I wrote them in the first place and it was almost as if they all knew this would happen, that I would get murdered by 5 cops on 2 different police departments, when they told me to: "Write all those stories down, Jack". Which not only strengthened my neural kinetic links but trained me as a writer.
    The letter to the big cops was the result of six years writing about other unrelated subjects but writing just the same. I just turned my pen on the cops that tried three times to kill me and it worked.
    So the pen {or the keyboard} is mightier than the sword.
    Another theme in the work,
    but I am pretty good with the sword too.

    The whole manuscript was instigated by the Doctors and the Judge. Even the letters to the big cops, as they were the logical conclusion to the writing in the first place. The happy ending and going down to the camp, building a fire and getting drunk while the hounds hunt down a coon is the logical conclusion to the story, to the book and to my life. It was what I was doing when I saw the beautiful breath clouds 30 years before not a few hundred yards from where the camp is now. All I wanted in life was my health and my hounds. But fate decreed other wise. Eleven, dead, bad men later the progenitor still lives. I have some more hounds but am all fxxxxx up physically. Everything I ever loved is buried in my back yard. I have $135,000,000.00 but will give 90% of it to Marci and Carol. I don't care. My heart is broken and it will never heal.
    Good bye Cotton Joe and Sue may, good bye Dolly may and old Red, good bye Katy may, Bonny belle, Sport, and Scout. Good bye Old Tom and sweet gentle Annie may. God give them all a gallon each of blue bell vanilla ice cream and put it on my bill.

    Teresa, I understand.

    Thank you...♥

    J. Knife
    {I ain't got the money yet y'all}

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