I do follow a lot of writers and am always willing to give feedback, but I will not, as a general rule, give unsolicited feedback whether I like a piece or not. My not commenting on your work has absolutely nothing to do with how much I liked it—it’s that my general approach to feedback is that you’ve written a draft, you want to make it better, and now we’re going to workshop this draft. In that sense you have to have at least a vague goal of what it is you want out of that piece, and a lot of writing is personal to the point where once you’ve put it up it’s because you like it and want to share it—not because you want to rework it.
The critique tag lists most of my comments I’ve given to writers who sent their pieces to me and specifically requested feedback, just to give you a sense of what my general notes tend to be.
more notes for joplimat
I’m glad you’re thinking of expanding it. I’m sure in the rewrite, with more time going by in the course of the play, you’ll have more space to work out the kinks in the plot and show the progression of Rose’s and Walker’s rise/fall. The only thing that really raised a red flag to me right now is that you should be careful not to make Jim into a cartoon villain. Not only does he verbally assault Rose over a box, but now he’s cheating on her, which essentially goes against the faith she tries so hard to uphold. I’m not saying he can’t be a bad guy, but if you don’t put reason behind his actions, at this point the audience is sitting there thinking, ‘well why did she even marry him? That doesn’t make sense.’
Also, I still think the Walker-recognizing part is a hard sell, but there are so many ways around this that I don’t think you’ll have a problem coming up with something. “Beard and outgrown hair” just isn’t going to cut it. Every person I’ve ever been emotionally attached to I could spot in Times Square on New Years Eve no matter how many years have gone by and with any amount of facial hair, let alone a small, enclosed place like a church where Rose meets him, and especially after hearing his voice.
additional notes for joplimat:
Setting: Post-Vietnam America in Queensbury, New York, 1977: the living room of the house of ROSE and JIM LEWIS, Saturday night. The living room is large. There is a table in the center with three chairs around it. A standing mirror and telephone on a table are SL of the main table. A crib is SR of the main table. There is a rocking chair and small stand with a drawer beside the crib. ROSE sits in the rocking chair, reading the paper. In the crib is JILL, her baby. The front door is EXIT STAGE LEFT and the rest of the house is EXIT STAGE RIGHT.
notes for ipraygodtakesusbeforewetry
notes for sprenger:
here are my notes, which are pretty general because I’m not sure what it’s for (school, finished short, excerpt, etc)
colorsblindyourvirgineyes-deact asked: Hi there. I've got a novel synopsis up on my Tumblr that I'm looking for critique on. I haven't started writing it yet, and there are a lot of directions I could go in. Could you take a look at it for me? It's at http://revengeandpizza.tumblr.com/post/2877360497/new-writing-idea-uber-excited-critique-please. Please leave feedback in *my* ask box if you would. :)
Hey, you don’t have ask enabled, so I’ll just.. answer this here I guess. And since it’s a public post I’ll try to keep it brief 8D;
I mostly deal with film structure, and with a novel you have much more leeway in terms of form. But either way, I think the main thing to focus on should be a coherent story, and then how you present that can be as convoluted as you want.
My first suggestion would be to plan out Apple’s character, and by this I mean it would be good to know every detail of her life, all about her childhood -everything. Even if only a fraction of 1% makes it onto the page, if YOU know who she is it’ll help make her a much more believable character when you write her. I think if you do this prior to planning out to the plot, it makes the rest of the plot decisions easier to make as well. Who is she and what does she want? Say you end up deciding she has a lot of insecurities in her relationships because X happened in the past and has a huge fear of rejection. Now, this is all hypothetical, but if this were the case maybe she killed her ex because she started to get the idea he was going to leave her, and based on that a lot of the decisions you want to make plot-wise will be easy to do because all you have to ask is, what would my character do in this situation?
After you work out your protagonist, I’d say it makes sense to work out the relationship between Apple and August. Does one of them want this more than the other? Why are they in it together? If the motivations are clear I think the rest of it will just happen.
One more thing: if you’re going to title it “Apple: A Love Story,” then regardless of the violence and death, it should be a love story.
(turned out longer than I wanted anyway :| just message me if you have any specific questions or whatever else)