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  • Week 24  10 August 2022

    Carrie and Amy walked arm-in-arm through the warm late night drizzle, with Amy pointing out landmarks that Carrie could barely see.

    “Maybe wait until tomorrow, Amy?” she suggested. “My […]

  • Thank you Marijo, glad you enjoyed it!

  • Hi Marijo
    There’s a sense of things coming to a head, let’s hope it’s all positive for Barry. I think at a few points throughout the book he could be shown having more backbone? He’s so deep into woe that, although I feel for him, I could sometimes shake him!
    Right at the beginning I got a bit confused – why is Chris calling Barry Mr Leeves,…[Read more]

  • (i) The case is cracked

    Sergeant Somers pushed open the door to the back office and announced that the case was cracked, Prentiss had signed her confession, and DCI Colville was debriefing the Chief. The officers […]

    • I love the Kenny/barmaid interaction. Hilarious! As are the quips at Grundig’s expense. You really show their camaraderie.

      Excellent descriptions of setting in these scenes. I can really imagine the train ride and Amy’s neighborhood and flat. Aww…what a lovely reunion between Amy and Carrie. I love everything about it. Really well done!

  • Thanks David. Am crawling towards the end….

  • Thanks David, good points abound. Will ensure good supply of elastoplasts to fix these scenes….

  • Sorry for late reply, brain has been on light duties lately!
    Love the idea of day + tally, puts the tally into context and illustrates its importance. Go for it!

  • Changes since Constatine’s death – get tapping that keyboard, lad!
    This bit has nothing to do with what you’ve written, but you’re my shortcut to knowledge as I don’t want to dig around – isn’t the Arian heresy still regarded as just that? I’m sure I used to know these things…
    Yeshua’s firm belief that he is literally the Messiah – I guess h…[Read more]

  • Thanks Julie, I didn’t want to pin the story too firmly to local venues, hoped there were enough mentions of the city to give a flavour. The other locations are fictitious and I felt a bit iffy about introducing Liverpool but have got over it!
    Melanie – in first draft she was languishing in a secure unit, probably unfit to stand trial. Don’t want…[Read more]

  • Hi Marijo
    Loved this: ‘Even though it is smack in the middle of Brooklyn, it doesn’t have that anomalous feeling that so many of the city’s cemeteries have. It doesn’t feel like wasted urban space; some strange flat parcel of green and graves interrupting a dense and buckling cityscape.’ Vivid and atmospheric.
    ‘ocondemned’ no need to query! I d…[Read more]

  • Hi Julie
    Another scene full of evocative details. I can see the women gathered in Georgina’s home – the suspicious mother and the daughter praying she won’t be found out, with little Janek the bridge between them.
    A couple of quick fixes:
    ‘The scene dominated by St Colman’s Cathedral imposed over the town before the other buildings leading d…[Read more]

  • Hi David
    Wow, didn’t see that coming.
    Suspense is well created here – Constantine’s chamberlain – ‘By his clothing and bearing, Theodorus imagined his station in life had undergone some change.’ Some description would help signpost which way the wind’s blowing . His clothing more expensive, elaborate or less so? Bearing arrogant, superciliou…[Read more]

  • Wow, thanks Julie, glad you could chill while reading about the mechanics of a gruesome plan….
    Come back restored – we’re still at the lying-down- whenever- possible stage!

  • Week 22     27 July 2022

    Note to readers: this first scene is to be inserted earlier in the story. I’m running out of weeks!

    Amy in Liverpool

    Amy looked up as Barry scraped back his chair. The editor was a […]

    • Hurrah! I love the ending of this weeks piece. Just fabulous Anne – you’ve excelled yourself this week. The scenes with Amy in Liverpool ring so true – did you resist mentioning the Cavern nearby or will it have a starring role in future scenes? I can visualise Amy very clearly with her bold, modern look. Loved wolffish Pete, hope he makes another appearance. Does Amy work on a national music paper based in Liverpool or is it a local paper she gets to cover music for ? That would have been a coveted role back then and I imagine fiercely guarded by men. Lovely to have such strong women in public jobs. Now the murder is solved are we near the end – omg 😱 but can’t be because we need to know what happens to Melanie – loved the inclusion of the Ruth Ellis case – it’s still tragic today and really highlights the way women were viewed at that time. I don’t want Melanie to hang even though being incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital in the early sixties would have been like going to hell. I don’t want the story to end 😵‍💫

      • Thanks Julie, I didn’t want to pin the story too firmly to local venues, hoped there were enough mentions of the city to give a flavour. The other locations are fictitious and I felt a bit iffy about introducing Liverpool but have got over it!
        Melanie – in first draft she was languishing in a secure unit, probably unfit to stand trial. Don’t want to write the trial, it’s not relevant to the main bones of the story.
        Glad you like the strong women, I definitely don’t have room in the story for loads of conventional domesticity, Mrs Prentiss is as much as I can stand.
        My main dilemma now is sorting out where vignettes stand throughout the scenes. Their purpose is to shift all the threads along so the reader is aware of what’s happening with minor characters. I love them, but do they work? Views appreciated!

    • Hi, Anne-
      Amy
      A light drizzle was coming down as they picked their way across an old bomb site, informally used as a car park. The old port city was gaining fame and popularity, but signs of war damage still dominated the centre.” Great job placing us in the time & locale with just a few words.
      “Her red bobbed hair and heavy eye make-up was dramatic, and his dark hair curling over the top of his black leather jacket and wolfish smile looked downright dangerous.” Don’t think I knew before that Amy was a redhead. Might want to try an active verb in the first part of the sentence.
      Carrie
      “George was a bit of a failure, didn’t have much to look forward to in life. No-one will miss him.” That’s one cold piece of work. I think you’ve hit the right note with her now.
      “All gone.” Nice that you left it there. Her desolation is palpable.
      And as I think I said before, Amy is a genius. Putting herself in Carrie’s hands was the only way out. Well done.

    • Anne,

      What great scenes! I loved the description of Liverpool and the chance to see Amy among her colleagues.
      Prentiss is so cold when asked about George. She really comes across as heartless in those few lines of dialogue. Face to face with the stone-cold killer who learned everything from Horton.

      I was a little upset by Colville immediately asking her to consider transferring right after they wrap up the first case but I guess it makes sense since he was brought in for this case, and might not be staying himself?
      I want him to praise her more in this exchange to soften the blow, or to acknowledge that he’s leaving as well and this is his chance to help promote her career.

      In the second scene it became clearer why he was doing this, but it feels a little heavy-handed. Maybe drop hints about this in earlier scenes in the next rewrite?

      I loved this last scene. It really has the feel of a final scene in a novel. The universe is aligning for Amy and Carrie to be together. Loved it.

      Really strong description throughout!

  • Hi Marijo
    Thanks for the healing thoughts – I’ve woken up crabby today instead of lethargic so must be getting better!
    Great suggestions,I have a problem copying and pasting from first draft and didn’t think through the bits in italics.
    Will have a think about Barker remembering Amy in the middle of this, just wanted to let it be known that she…[Read more]

  • Hi Marijo
    Good that Joe is so kind to Barry, but yet another bad call on his part. Going to the funeral in the pouring rain with a bad leg etc screams Disaster Ahead.
    Really well written, concise and sharp, but I’m still a bit lost with characters and backstory. Reading it in one go would help, as I’ve said before. We’re nearly at the end and I…[Read more]

  • Hi Julie
    This is a really well-written scene and the only thing I’d like to see is the ‘flashback’ in italics as I got a bit confused about the timeline and where we were.
    I’m also unwell so won’t witter on. If you want to resubmit when you’re well and want comments, let me know. Can’t think why it shouldn’t stand as it is, though. Take ca…[Read more]

  • Hi David
    337CE:
    ‘The scratch of cloven-footed pens’ – great, I learned to write with one of those.
    The controversy over the letters links to the uncertain provenance of all the stuff Helena had dragged back. Could Theo ponder on the need of people to have something tangible to relate to? This scene highlights the lack of rigour in asses…[Read more]

  • Week 21     20 July 2022

    Readers: I’ve come back from Liverpool with sore throat and cough. This is a long scene which I was intending to break up with some of Carrie and Amy’s story, but my energy is pretty low […]

    • Hey Anne!

      I’m sorry to hear that you’re not feeling well. Hope you’re feel better soon.

      This is a great confession scene. I love how Melanie spells out all the details.
      The only thing I would change is to take out the memory sequences and just have them be straight dialogue. This will give you the option of expanding the scene with the detectives and lawyer’s reactions.

      Are you going to use Horton’s diary in the next rewrite? If so, I think this scene is a great place to reference it. Barker can think about what she’s read, or Colville.

      I was confused at the beginning when Colville looks at her and thinks:He saw a pretty young woman, fair-haired and petite. Her clothes were tidily conventional and she was well-spoken. What had driven this unremarkable woman to hatch a plan to kill?
      Doesn’t he already know this from reading her diary? This gives her motive.

      Overall, a great scene. I don’t think Barker would be thinking of Amy during this scene. The part where she thinks of her when Melanie fixes her skirt doesn’t ring true for me because it makes me think that Amy is deeply flawed, dysfunctional, or in need of saving. I don’t like the allusion. Just my two cents on this.

      Well done! And sending healing thoughts your way….

      • Hi Marijo
        Thanks for the healing thoughts – I’ve woken up crabby today instead of lethargic so must be getting better!
        Great suggestions,I have a problem copying and pasting from first draft and didn’t think through the bits in italics.
        Will have a think about Barker remembering Amy in the middle of this, just wanted to let it be known that she still has Amy on her mind.
        Thanks for commenting….

    • Hi Anne, I hope you’re feeling a little stronger today today. This bug is a floorer for sure. I really enjoyed reading this week’s piece. It was satisfying to real a longer, uninterrupted piece. I don’t think you should break it upas it’s a very satisfying read. My one tiny comment would be that even though what Horton did was shocking and bewildering for Melanie her light-bulb moment feels too instant. I would expect her to want to run away as soon as she could then begin to hatch her plan as she works her way through how she’s been manipulated. But that’s just my take. It’s your baby! I’m having a couple of days away in a hotel with a pool and salon to gather my strength after the bug. I’ve just read your scene and was riveted and able to block out all noise from the other guests in the breakfast lounge. Well done Anne 😀

      • Wow, thanks Julie, glad you could chill while reading about the mechanics of a gruesome plan….
        Come back restored – we’re still at the lying-down- whenever- possible stage!

  • Hi Marijo
    So you want more blood and gore, eh? Coming up in draft 3, would hate to disappoint!
    Thanks for the encouragement, sequel will be set in Manchester and be brutal, just for you LOL.
    Will attempt more description as we move through the interviews with Melanie, and am pleased you like the developing camaraderie in the office. Blake isn’t…[Read more]

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Anne

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