October 16, 2009
Worked on 'Stephen's Boys' this am and I'm enjoying both the research necessary for the 1945 time frame and the new plot twist. It's so nice to enjoy getting together with the Farrell family.
Had my critique session with Dave today. I had three of his short stories to crit. The first one was about an old cowboy who falls in love with a married woman. It was nicely done with effective character sketches, scene setting and believable dialog. He just didn't realize when he 'ended' the piece and went on to tell the reader all about what happened to folks who were only very peripheral to the story. I hope he changes it, because its a great story and he could probably get it published. The second one was a thinly disguised story of my infatuation with a younger man. I told him that if he gets it published, he owes me royalties. The last one was about a pedophile priest. Well done and probably marketable, but I got a different take on the main character. Dave thought he wrote about an arrogant character, but I found him sad and conflicted. I always think it's interesting to see how my readers interpret my stories. Frequently, they see something that I never intended.
Dave's crit of the 20 pages of 'Stephen's Boys' provided some great opportunities for improvement, but overall he doesn't like the story. The men are too soft and the women too strong and my death scenes seem unreal to him. He did say that he thinks women will like it.
I think it's so beneficial to both of us in reading something that ordinarily we'd never read. We come at the critiquing from different angles. What we decided today that men, for the most part, relate to woman through physical stimulation whereas women use their brain to relate to men. It's an over simplification, but probably true.
Still no word on my submissions, so more wait, wait, wait.
I leave you with this quote from Billy Crystal who succinctly summed up what Dave and I were discussing today. "Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place."