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» The Ornery American Forum » Ornery Writers Workshop » 'Portraits' by Dey

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Author Topic: 'Portraits' by Dey
Richard Dey
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For coments on Portraits, a short story by Sky Dey.
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KnightEnder
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We are having some technical issues with this submission. Hopefully it, and Shane Roe's submission, will be next weeks (10) submissions.

KE

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RickyB
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Ah. Was about to say I didn't get it.
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Richard Dey
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I'll send it along as a .txt file. I use an old computer for the net and oftimes can't move files from one room to the other, let alone via the moon. It's a piece of fluff. It ought to be transmittable by moonbeam [Wink] .
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KnightEnder
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Okay, everyone should have this now as our 11th week submission. Please use this thread for critiques and comments on Richard's story. Thanks.

KE

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stayne
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Richard, I haven't finished this piece yet, but it is on my list, just been terribly busy. I did read about a quarter of it, though, and I wanted to comment on that, and ask some questions before I go on.

The writing is very good, i.e. you have a damned good ability to turn a phrase. Characterizations give the impression of richly detailed people. But that is also kind of my problem. There is a _lot_ of information here, and I am having trouble assimilating it all and getting an outline of the characters before the details are filled in. For example, I was unclear for a while that the viewpoint character is female. I thought the two at the beginning were a gay couple, not sure why, but I did, and so some of the stuff with the aunt made me keep combing through and trying to determine if that was so. This could account for some of my confusion, but I think that it could be that you're a bit too subtle in the opening. I found myself terribly confused about what is _going on_ at the beginning. I keep looking for the story, and not finding it, and I wonder if I am missing the point.

You call this piece 'Portraits', so I wonder if that is literally what you intend? Is there story I am missing early on because I don't understand, or is it your intent that this is in fact a set of verbal portraits?

Can you give me a brief explanation of the setup, so I can understand a little better what is going on at the beginning? I feel I can't really do much justice in critiquing unless I get grounded better, or have some confusion cleared up.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"I'll send it along as a .txt file. I use an old computer for the net and oftimes can't move files from one room to the other, let alone via the moon. It's a piece of fluff. It ought to be transmittable by moonbeam"

Why criticize the mote in thy brother's arse? Rather, look to the beam in thy moon....

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Richard Dey
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Stayne:

KL's criticism has reset this drawing-room piece. It is, as it were, a hatrack. That wasn't what was wrong with it, I don't think. You did, and KL did put your fingers right on the problem, however. The intent was to move from one drawing-room to another by way of a middle one. There are 3 'rooms'.

Lower upper-class females, I was trying to suggest, don't make themselves. They're made up by older women in a kind of chain reaction from James to Marquand to Cheever to Updyke ad nauseum. The male characters say almost nothing because they live in a parallel universe maintaining and making money but they are really in a separate culture.

What I did wrong, I think, the dialog of 'drawing rooms' 1 and 3 are connected by dialog. The 2nd drawing room of the 3 (the Act 2) should have been an historical flashback without any dialog to set it apart from the other two. The reason I had used dialog was because I was trying to show that the dialog of one generation of lower upper-class women really is the same plot generation after generation. All 3 women have chosen lower- or middle-class husbands.

When KL didn't get the 3-part scenario, I knew I'd fugged up [Embarrassed] . We've had a heat wave here, and we fled to sea. When I get back I'll fix it.

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kenmeer livermaile
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Perhaps Monsieur Dey forgets that I didn't share my criticisms with the group but in private. Partly because it felt SO much like something that, stuylistically (although not content-wise), I would have aqttempted to write?

I pretty much 'got it' but chafed at the rigging I had to crawl through, that is, the mnemonic macrame required. And I was certain that Richard could do it much more cleanly and directly once he'd seem that.

Some of us tend to leave numerous threads behind us -- behind our protagonists/developments, that is, in order to remember where they came from and why they're headed where they are.

Once they get there, most of the threads are no longer necessary and must be cut to make it work. Ah, but that cutting is so much work.

It's rather like cast-molding: so much casting a casting of a casting before one finally has the finished product.

I fade now with an image of Richard winding a moonbeam back into his arse via the closest, uh, crank at hand (hey, get your hands off me! [Wink] , so he can lay thread out again for his next tale.

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