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  • Hi Michael – ha the Seffer’s identity is revealed!!! But, I think you should have gone all in with the dialogue instead of slipping between convo and reported speech – you do the real thing really well so why not. Lots of potential here , loving the characters …and ‘Playful’ surely works for you?! D

  • Hi Susanne – there is a lot in this week’s scene that could perhaps be condensed – the Lutheran vs Catholic story and I wonder if paragaph 2 shouldn’t be your opening one? Everything is here but it feels a bit ‘ messy’ and needs tightening up. There is so much amazing symbolism (maybe not always intentional, but there) in your scenes – the…[Read more]

  • Hi Preston – I was completely distracted by Dr Impala, Kudu and Eland…sorry. I also think you need to be a bit more explicit about Etienne entering into this process and the prosess itself
    The …(incident with the mis-inserted catheter) led to Etienne’s conviction that someone (his collegue that was overworked? Supervising dr?) must be…[Read more]

  • Hi Glen – so am still intrigued by how this is going to extend to a full novel – I guess there’s lots of potential for one character following the other…
    On this scene specifically – I think you copped out of the first sex scene – it needed to be more or less explicit but you kinda went half way ‘ She squirmed beneath Myrtle’s body and c…[Read more]

  • Thanks, Becky – the problem with clarifying Duncan’s intent with the ‘ look’ is it changes the POV which is purely Fran’s. I have to reveal later on only through Fran what the meaning of it at the time was. I already have a large part of my MS down, but have been challenged to re work it in Fran’s POV so am trying to keep that in mind, but good…[Read more]

  • Oooh Ben you’re onto such a winner with this story!! Great descriptions, dialogue and descriptions of the boat and Cpt Pierre nowhere to be seen (except in my mind’s eye…😜) Perfect. Not over exposing him at this stage.
    I just wondered about Kate’s thoughts on Momo being far from his family – her decision is maybe not driven by economic…[Read more]

  • Hi Jan – well you have definitely left us on a cliff hanger… !
    There is LOTS of description of the house, location etc in here – feels a bit packed with some uncessesary detail that you could show us later and not tell us now, whilst still illustrating that Dan is a lover of good things and the high life – we saw that in the first couple of…[Read more]

  • Hi Anne – I am only just joining your story now but this is great scene setting and dialogue. Can see the whole thing playing out like a tv series . Barker (Woofer – great nickname!!) will be the next Jane Tennyson, I hope and show all those misogynists a thing or two. I wasn’t sure if I cared more about the murder or the chauvinism going on! Am…[Read more]

  • Ah Nina – characteristically lyrical. Clarissa seems like a very resilient woman, though.- Will be interesting to see what role her ex has later on, if any.
    Just one comment re ‘Michael’s father’s mother’ – it seems a clumsy way of saying either just grandmother or if you want to be more precise then ‘paternal grandmother’ but a small detail.…[Read more]

  • Thank you, Julie – there some great contributions to the narrative in your comments. After the week is over, I usually go back and edit the on and offline version and will certainly incorporate these suggestions. As for who’s who and who did what to whom and why – all will be revealed!!
    My reading schedule is a bit disrupted today (hot and…[Read more]

  • Thank you, Preston for the detailed read and comments – I’m finally excited by this overworked- long- gathering -dust MS!!

  • Thank you, Susanne!! All will be revealed!!

  • Hi Monica – I love this – the last 2 weeks’ scenes have been a real pleasure – the imagery is v vivid and the characters come to life on the page. Nicely done.

  • In which Fran gives in to temptation by Deryn Graham

    Scene 3 – An action and (short) reaction scene

    #

    The featureless exterior of the hotel, located in the former East Berlin, belied its contemporary interior. […]

    • Another wonderfully crafted scene – I especially enjoy the language. ‘Registered the ping of the lift,’ ‘swooshed up to the sixth floor,’ ‘delicious noises,’ ‘shed her clothes,’ ‘tangle of sheets,’ and ‘cloak and dagger turn’ are some of my favourites, though, I felt a bit cheated out of a fresh quip when you used the word ‘shed’ twice. The dialogue, pacing, and flow works rather well. That Fran didn’t stay in the bathroom, that she came out and held her own against Bernard, says a lot about her character – willful, fearless, doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks about her. The exchange of business cards lends to the efficient, methodical approach Fran and her suitor have towards romantic engagements, preparing us for the thought ‘Duncan who?’ later. Ambition before emotion, that’s Fran. The South Africanism ‘bru’ lent authenticity to the Duncan’s character. There’s plenty in this scene that makes me want to keep reading – I’m intrigued to find out how she handles her upcoming meeting with Lazslo, what secret Duncan is hiding, why Bernard is so condescending. Thanks for sharing, and good luck for the next scene!

      • Thank you, Preston for the detailed read and comments – I’m finally excited by this overworked- long- gathering -dust MS!!

    • Hi Deryn, what a delightful read! You have successfully contrasted Duncan and Laszlo and showed really well Fran’s inner conflict between career and love. The intrusion of Bernard is well-crafted and I am already speculatng whether they two men are lovers or not….I love Fran’s motto “Dignity at all times”! Thanks for sharing, I am looking forward to the next scene.

    • Hi Deryn, well it’s a gloomy, wet lockdown day here in the UK and I must say that Fran’s antics have cheered me up a treat. I’m really enjoying my trip out with Fran and love her ‘don’t mess with me’ persona. Especially in her funny reply to Bernard ‘she is the cat’s mother…’ All your characters are different from one another and have their own voice. Fran’s dilemma is going to get even more exciting I’m thinking, as she is definitely a man-magnet who’s trying to keep control and balance fun and ambition. I appreciate you letting us know that there are two scenes here. That’s a great idea, as in our finished novels, some scene will be shorter than others. As a reader I would have liked a bit more showing than telling (argghhh I know..) Your description of the hotel lobby’s furnishing …’ done in rich, vibrant colours,’ is a little generic, maybe pick one colour out and show us. Perhaps in the wall of modern art she spots one of Picasso’s famous nudes, one we all know the name of, that hints at what’s about to happen next as well as us seeing it. I am really annoyed with Duncan, what a rat. But am hoping he will be redeemed in the next scene. Who is Bernard, the spoilsport? I wondered if Duncan would really say, ‘Business is business. This was pure pleasure.’ That’s a very rude thing to say in front of Fran, even for a lothario. But that’s just my thoughts. The story is crackling along and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

      • Thank you, Julie – there some great contributions to the narrative in your comments. After the week is over, I usually go back and edit the on and offline version and will certainly incorporate these suggestions. As for who’s who and who did what to whom and why – all will be revealed!!
        My reading schedule is a bit disrupted today (hot and sticky in Johannesburg – sorry!) but hoping to get to everyone’s stories soon.
        Thank you for the read and encouragement! DG

    • This was so entertaining and the pacing was great, thanks Deryn! Poor Fran doesn’t know it, but I’m sure Duncan will be back. We need to know what Bernard has on him! And she also doesn’t know it, but I suspect Lazlo will at least tempt her to put himself in the way of her ambitions…
      I was likewise caught by surprise by the line: “Business is business. This was pure pleasure.” Duncan flashed a look of something that looked like triumph at Fran. –Was the glance one of comradery with Fran, or an “you are merely my latest conquest”? might want to clarify he intent for the readers.
      I’m impressed by your explicit use of action and reaction scenes. Well done!
      -Becky

      • Thanks, Becky – the problem with clarifying Duncan’s intent with the ‘ look’ is it changes the POV which is purely Fran’s. I have to reveal later on only through Fran what the meaning of it at the time was. I already have a large part of my MS down, but have been challenged to re work it in Fran’s POV so am trying to keep that in mind, but good point. Thanks for th read and insightful comments.

    • Great scene. Lots of nice touches to being it home. Fran is coming into her own as a three-dimensional character in this scene. Good jib on the steamy side and then the plot-thickening complications at the end. Rolling right along.

    • Hi Deryn, love it, love it, love it! Fran is such an awesome character. I love her boldness, her confidence, how she assumes herself so well and takes no prisoners. Her decision to come out of the bathroom had me floored (in a great way!) and I was in awe of how she just moves on and doesn’t feel sorry for herself as she leaves, she’s amazing! The pace in this scene was also perfect and there are just enough unanswered questions about Duncan to hint that we haven’t seen the last of him yet…
      Cannot wait for the next scene! 🙂

    • Hi Deryn,

      Well done on Nr 3! I enjoyed this scene and Fran’s courage to come out of the bathroom like that – it tells us a lot about her. I loved the little gems you had such as “cementing the relationship”, from “delightful companion” to “expert seducer”, “pin” and “swoosh” of the lift and the beautiful interior of the hotel!
      Also great work on making the south-africanisms “bru” work for you (and there I wanted to write souf-africanisms – I know you know what I mean!)

      A couple of observations –
      1) he wants to give her his card, but she doesn’t have a chance to take it, and at the end nothing happens? I was surprised because he sort of stood up for Bernie but in the end backed down.
      2) In the bathroom, I sort of missed her becoming impatient, and the tension heightening, before she does her walk of (not) shame. A suggestion here could be perhaps a glance at her watch, a meeting she cannot be late for because her sleezey colleague will do something, and then she opens the door. “Hi guys” and takes his card (if she wants to of course)

      I hope this is helpful Deryn 🙂 Either way I’m enjoying this story a lot!

    • Well, Fran is not long on self-control. But faced with someone like Duncan, I guess it’s excusable.

      Interesting that she decided to barge out of the bathroom. Given Duncan’s panic, a lot of people in her position might have stayed. Rather telling.

      I was also curious about her giving Duncan her card twice. Not sure what to make of that.

      I’m enjoying the physical description of the hotel. You have a nice ear for sounds as well. I wonder if some scent could be added–it is so evocative. But I certainly did not feel lost for lack of description.

      I am swept along in the stream of the story. Keep it coming.

  • Hi Becky I prefer this to the Cindy story and the writing has more of an authenticity about it. I am one of 3 sisters and the relatiosnhip between these 2 is very natural and the conversation very easy, with that hint of underlying tension. Well done for deciding to switch! D

  • Thank you, Sharon! Tomorrow, then!

  • Hi Glen – many thanks for the read and great suggestions re Gio’s reaction. I will certainly write that in as it plays in to how Fran’s career plans pan out…Sorry you feel that Mr Nice Guy is missing 😂 but Duncan is kinda him altho there is another character yet to make an appearance who will take on that role…Thanks again for the read.

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