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Still in beta, and testing (successfully!) two guest contributors - Litopia's own Katie-Ellen Hazeldine & Kirsten, putting their towering thespianic abilities to good use in an epic climax to the show!
Thanks for looking at my book. I had a busy weekend so have only just watched it. It's a bit heart in your mouth to watch but the feedback is really useful - so much more valuable than a form rejection. I'm going to be thinking 'cowbell' during the re-writes. I want Kirsten back too!
I can't look, but it was fun, and instructive. An honour actually, all that talent coming in over the transom. I thought the subs were of a high standard last night, even though I was mean once or twice. The writers are so brave, subbing in public.
Every time I attempt to join in my computer crashes. The internet decided to disconnect but from what I did see, the feedback was impressive. I echo Carol's praise for KTLN too. Now to catch up on it properly. So glad I can.
There was some nice writing going on in these latest offerings, and some interesting concepts. It's bringing home the importance of the opening page... some of these stories might very well have been great a few chapters down the line.
I wasn't sure about the one that read like a play. Though it gained in interest by being read out loud (very well!) by two individuals, you wouldn't get that by reading it. A transcript is an interesting idea, but in the opening of a novel? In the YA (that I have submitted to Pete) I did a transcript of a trial, but it's in the middle somewhere, used by the misguided 'hero' to change the heroine's perception of what happened.
In the YA story of the boy who wanted to go to a bar, the context of the boy's mother being a solicitor made me think he wanted to go to the Bar, ie, become a barrister, or something. Was it just me who made that homophonic leap? Despite being well-written, the dialogue with his parents was essentially uninspiring. I thought maybe the story should have just started with him in the bar (if that was where the action began), with a single comment that he'd cleverly manipulated the opportunity from his control-freak parents.
I try to avoid saying how wonderful my prose is, or that my writing is literary. Though I have aspirations towards a higher standard, sometimes it might be both, either, or neither, but stating that as fact is being asked to be shot down in flames, really. As Pete said in a previous sitting: Let me decide if I think it's literary.
A small comment on Irish names... O'Mahoney would be pronounced O'Maany. There are complex rules regarding silent letters. The h's in the middle of words are often silent, though in the Irish spoken language they are pronounced as a faint aspiration. And in Ireland another Irish person would likely call him the familiar Mahoney (Maany), not O'Mahoney, the O' is the formal or written version meaning 'son of', and isn't used in everyday speech. An unmarried woman, a miss, would be Ní Mahoney, but that's going out of fashion. Tidgh is pronounced Teeg. Caitlin is pronounced Kathleen. Ailbhe is pronounced Alvy. The seaside town Youghal is pronounced Yawl. Where I live, the townland of Rearahinagh is pronounced Rearanack. Make sense? Thought not!
Maybe in America, where Caitlin is pronounced as phonetically written, these names have changed through usage? The tradition Irish spellings are about as crazy to non Irish speakers as those in Solzhenitsyn to non-Russians (When I read Cancer Ward I had to mentally change names to Fred and Sally.) In any event, in fiction, I think names should be instantly recognisable in the phonetic form even if you don't say them out loud. I read a lot of science fiction when I was young, and hated stories where the characters' names were a collections of XQZs. I simply can't identify with a character if I stumble over the name. I also avoid using names that start with the same letter, or rhyme. Also names that end with s, which make for messy plurals.
I was quite taken with that story opening; the poor fella Ciaran in the acid rain.... Those Gaelic names certainly are a challenge. My maiden name was Kearns, anglicised from O' Kieran two or maybe three generations ago. My grandmother, Kathleen, used to say to my father, now, what is your REAL name...let me know you have not forgotten, and he'd have to say 'Eamonn Sean O Kieran', not Edward John Kearns.
And I also agree, Chris...I felt that boy was very much shaping up as a future barrister, whether for good or ill, lol. That Italian story had something too, I thought. 1929. Cranked up just a few notches, with a stronger sense of the writer's own particular stamp....
Names...American visitors would stop and ask the way to Dur- HAM cathedral, where it's pronounced Durrem. I once asked a policeman the way to Belvoir Street in Leicester. Bel-voir. 'You mean BEAVER Street', he smilingly corrected me.