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Forum Home > Peazy's reviews > Reviewing Meany, chapter five:

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Heather reviewing:

Reviewing Meany - Chapter 5

 

This chapter is so full of good stuff! LOVE it! Here are my thoughts in chronological order!!!

 

1st - I love the way you establish the warm feeling in the beginning. I am so glad to see that these kids have some good in their life. Its nice to see Annette in the mothering role and the children have some happy quality time. Awesome way to bring the family together (-charles) in a warm environment.

 

I also like the fact that Grandma Barnes is nice in this scene. She must have worked for hours on that tablecloth and she is thinking of Ruthy's best interest. We are going to need her later and while we see she is weak and vulnerable, we also see that despite having brought charles into the world, there is kindness within her. (we are going to need to remember that later!)

 

When Ruthy is opening the record, Elizabeth warns that it is 'break-able'. I think this might be better written without the hyphen unless Elizabeth distinctly says it as two separate words...if she does you may want to make it clearer because for me it simply read as a typo.

 

Mark then picks up a knife to sing...I know that it is a dinner knife, but using any knife seems threatening. It struck me as different is all. I would have pictured him picking up a spoon. For one it looks more like a microphone and it doesn't carry the negative stigma that a knife does. (course if we are talking about 'annette' we both know a spoon is a lethal weapon as well huh? :-)

 

The passage about the poppies had me grinning from ear to ear! Your description is perfect...it brings me back to my childhood. By this point in the scene you've got me. I can relate to every single one of the gifts and I feel like I am sitting in the kitchen with them enjoying the warmth of the family. I am part of this scene; you have drawn me in and I am at the mercy of your pen! BRAVO! This is even more impressive because we are coming up to the dime. The contrast between the warmth and the dime part is even more pronounced because you had me hypnotized up until now. As Ruthy pieces together the puzzle, her horror is my horror...SO WELL DONE! I have one tiny suggestion after she unwraps the dime. In that passage I would add one, maybe 2 more sentences that build the horror before she blows chunks onto the cake. You did so well at crafting the scene and building the warmth, but you raced through the realization and got to the result of it before I had time to process it. I didn't truly feel the depth of the horror. I mean I felt bad, but I didn't vomit when ruthy did. Up to that point I was feeling every single emotion that she and the children were feeling. This sounds weird, but if Ruthy is going to vomit then I want to feel the nausea too...perhaps you can add a painful personal memory that flickers in ruthy's mind or a description of how her stomach dropped into her knees....

 

gonna post so i don't lose this


March 6, 2011 at 9:13 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posts: 114

Heather, Part II:

Meany - Chapter 5 part 2

 

As Ruthy runs out, Jenny says " i just wanted to give her a gooood present." I would change that to 'good'. The extra oo's were distracting. I get that she was probably whining, but I still would prefer the regular spelling (as a reader that is).

 

I have to say that I love Grandma Barnes at the end of the scene! What she says is perfect....I know its the dowser, or a premonition she is getting from his presence, but it is perfect. I really love how all of these clues are pointing to the climax of the story...so well done!

 

After Ruthy heads to the barn....I want to beg you to change Adam's speech patterns....here's why...Before we know its Adam - we have never seen him til now, the voice sounds an awful lot like Charles. First thing we hear is him give her an order and he says 'goddamned'. I really thought Charles was out there getting ready to beat on her some more...My gut was to say 'no! - Adam has to be sweet!' I know he is, we see him be sweet to her later...perhaps this is the corny romantic in me, but I don't want him to direct any cuss words at her at all. I want him to be sentimental and soft-spoken to her, especially right now when she is hurting. I want him to softly demand the glass, "Gimme the glass, Ruthy". Please don't let him say, "Christ Ruthy," I don't want to hear him swear until he is talking about that"son-of-a-bitch Charles". That's when I want to see him lose his cool! That makes him a protective caring guy. I want him to coddle and sooth Ruthy - she needs it, and be angry at Charles....This will endear him more to me. I just don't want to see Ruthy with anyone less than that...That makes him that much more of a victim later on....

 

Last comment - "Ripping his bandanna off from his head..." strike 'from' - unnecessary.

 

I really love how you have controlled my emotions in this chapter. You have brought a lot of warmth into the story. I think that is what the average reader is going to want to see....I know people have told you this story is too dark, but this scene goes a long way toward proving them wrong. You really brought me in as if these things were happening to me, not some fictional character. Good Stuff....also- the fact that Ruthy is cutting....it seems risque and taboo...like that is something that only recently became a problem, but i am glad that you included it...you are not afraid of that which wasn't spoken about at that time...good for you....

 

I really enjoyed this chapter and can't wait for chapter 6!

 


March 6, 2011 at 9:14 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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