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  • Hi Peggy – what time is it in your part of the world when you post?! I’ve been meaning to ask, as we’re always amongst the first!
    Poor Charles, but that’s what getting mixed up in all of this is going to cost you…almost certainly his licence if not his freedom, even if he did think he was helping. I guess he could make a case for that…
    This…[Read more]

  • Later that day, Fran received a frantic phone call from Bernard in Budapest. The one feature chandelier in the hotel foyer was creating problems and shorting all the ground floor power and the supplier was […]

  • Much the same as her previous drive from Joburg to the Welgevonden Reserve, Fran dozed on and off in the car, rocked by the movement of the vehicle. Hugh’s driving was even and confident, she noted each time she s […]

  • Thank you, Ben – I will bring you something made from shwe shwe when I (eventually) make it over ! x

  • Hi Peggy thanks for the comments. Guy is busy being busy and is preoccupied with the love of his life, but I have clearly aroused some suspicion, so I might have to write in a spiteful side of him and make him a bit bitchier. He and Fran are growing apart, though and that’s part of Fran’s journey. Thanks for giving your reader insights!!

  • Shew, Ben – this is a great scene – the tension is really ramping up. I want to give you some comment but honestly I have nothing except to say the resolution of the misunderstanding between Kate and Pierre is seamless, completely credible, including the thought that had Pierre known about Kate and Matt there would have been no Kate and…[Read more]

  • Fran and Bernard parted in the lobby of the hotel.

    “Maybe a nightcap?” he had asked in a tone that suggested he already knew the answer.

    “I really don’t think so. I don’t have the energy to review what happened […]

    • I really liked the reflective nature of this scene, as we see Fran taking stock of herself and her relationships. At first, with the activity at the KBF in full swing, she went a little overboard, but the conversation with Istvel calmed her down and put things into perspective, and from there it felt like she becomes more at peace with herself. I find it odd that Guy isn’t returning her texts and not connecting with her on the phone, and from Fran’s observation about office life feeling less tense and less whispering, rises suspicions in my head. Is there more to Guy that we don’t know? I guess I’ll just have to wait and see! Great work, Deryn.

      • Hi Peggy thanks for the comments. Guy is busy being busy and is preoccupied with the love of his life, but I have clearly aroused some suspicion, so I might have to write in a spiteful side of him and make him a bit bitchier. He and Fran are growing apart, though and that’s part of Fran’s journey. Thanks for giving your reader insights!!

    • Hi Deryn, I remember the shwe shwe now and how much I had loved that detail. You really have a knack for giving us just the right details to both immerse us in and make us dream of the places you take us to.
      I loved seeing Fran in action at work but my absolute favourite part of this scene was the conversation with her mum, both the comment about the Daily Mail and Fran’s mum’s naivety are priceless and extremely funny.
      I’m so looking forward to seeing what you’ve done with the SA trip this time round 🙂

  • Hi Peggy
    This is a very exciting scene with a sad outcome for the 3 girls but there couldn’t be no casualties in all this, I guess. I don’t have many comments or pick ups this week, maybe there were a few too many ‘ashen’ faces and one missing ‘a’ in ‘About dozen girls…’ but that’s all I can add, really. Hurtling to the end in a truck…!

  • Hi Ben – thank you so much – good call on Laszlo’s reply to Fran having her costume with her – am going to change that right away.
    The Guy/Chrissie thing isn’t new – Kim tried to make me hold it back for the sequel but since that isn’t even a consideration at this point (tho people keep telling me I need a trilogy to sell to publishers…) I put…[Read more]

  • Hi Ben – never mind Matt’s ‘ shit, shit, shit’ that was my reaction when Matt engineered his little scenario. And Kate’s pulling Tamara in to the dinner table conversation reminded me of Fran dragging Brigette into her story with Duncan in the gallery. Mean but great reading!! I loved the end of the scene and Pierre’s answer re the trip not being…[Read more]

  • Hi Peggy this is a very exciting scene which I ‘enjoyed’ very much (the subject matter notwithstanding) Pacing was great. Good catch on giving Roy a conscience for having left Min Sang (rookie mistake, exactly!) And Helen was great, perfect tone to her voice in her interruption of the car phone convo!
    A couple of pick ups:

    All you’ve told me…[Read more]

  • Hi Peggy so glad you’re enjoying it – Fran’s evolution is almost (almost!) complete!!!

  • Fran threw her suitcase on the bed then frowned at herself. It was a bad habit and created way too much wear and tear on eiderdowns and duvet covers. She should know, she had researched fabrics that would […]

    • Aw, what started as a lovely day for Fran really went to hell in a handbag didn’t it! I really felt bad for Fran when Chrissie showed up, but she held herself together really well. I feel like she responded to Chrissie much more maturely than she would have done at the start of the story, but I worry what she will find when she calls Guy. What is Chrissie playing at, and is this what will bring Fran to the dark night of the soul? Just when things were going well with Bernard, then this happens to mar their tentative friendship. Great work, Deryn, this is a lovely story and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

    • Hi Deryn, really well played on putting another obstacle in Fran and Bernard’s relationship path – the frustration and delayed gratification do such a great job at keeping us on tenterhooks.
      Your descriptions work beautifully too. I especially loved that sentence: ‘Fran longed to dive into the tepid water and float, watching the clouds scud across the early autumn sky. She could almost feel the crisp air on her skin, then the warm, steamy and slightly sulphurous water envelop her as she dipped her shoulders under the surface.’
      I think it’s probably my twisted mischievous mind but I was thinking that if you want Laszlo to be properly lascivious, you could have him say ‘Shame… otherwise, I have to take you shopping!’ instead of ‘Good otherwise…’ 😉
      Loved, loved, loved the Chrissie surprise and especially the spat between Fran and her. I’m super intrigued by the Guy/Chrissie partnership implication. Either my memory is failing me or it’s new but either way, I can’t wait to find out what that’s all about! xxx

      • Hi Ben – thank you so much – good call on Laszlo’s reply to Fran having her costume with her – am going to change that right away.
        The Guy/Chrissie thing isn’t new – Kim tried to make me hold it back for the sequel but since that isn’t even a consideration at this point (tho people keep telling me I need a trilogy to sell to publishers…) I put it in. All will be revealed…!! xx

  • Ah thank you, Ben – this is a great suggestion re that ‘and in the meantime’ segment and I’m going to work them in to the next draft. Am printing the MS out this week and working on changes and chapter divisions so by them time week 26 comes around I’m ready to go, hopefully x

  • Ah Ben what have you done…gone and left us high and dry with a week until all is revealed !! I remember Jacqui’s bar lady wisdom from last year and it is spot on, accent and all!! Love this scene, including the slightly malevolent dolphin. Also the comprehension as Pierre guesses from the direction of Kate’s look at the bench where the tanks…[Read more]

  • Hi Peggy, no I hadn’t seen the story of the genesis of the book (if I post early then I don’t always see subsequent comments and your replies) so that makes sense re the structure and gaps. The story arc works so well, just as I say, there are inconsistencies that can easily be fixed. There is a lot of merit in the story and the telling of it – I…[Read more]

  • Hi Peggy thanks for the catch! I was thinking that since there had been the trip home to visit her parents that Fran should have at least another conversation with them somewhere and toyed with the idea during these scenes, but I’ll mull that one over! Took the note to self out! And Laszlo has plenty up his sleeve!!

  • Hi Peggy this surely ends on a cliff hanger as Shiva comes to reclaim his prize. It does speak a little, though to the plausibility issues I have with parts of the plot, in this case the police not taking Minsang into protective custody, or any custody, as a first hand witness of the activities in the Blue Moon. The policeman and Roy even refer to…[Read more]

  • Fran made her way to the e-hailing collection point outside the Heathrow terminal and fell gratefully into the back seat of her Uber. She succumbed to the weariness of the 11-hour flight, during which her busy […]

    • I’m so happy that Fran and Guy are BFFs again; this is a good scene, as it serves to highlight Fran’s loneliness, Fran and Guy’s closeness, Guy’s potential distancing as he grows closer to Freddy.
      Looks like you left a note to self in the second section that should be removed.
      I like that you left this on a bit of a cliff hanger, what does Laszlo have planned for them? Can’t wait to find out!

      • Hi Peggy thanks for the catch! I was thinking that since there had been the trip home to visit her parents that Fran should have at least another conversation with them somewhere and toyed with the idea during these scenes, but I’ll mull that one over! Took the note to self out! And Laszlo has plenty up his sleeve!!

    • Hi Deryn, yeahy, Fran and Guy are back together and best of friends again! I loved that scene and its dialogue. The whole being back home and getting on with work also makes Fran appear more settled, calm and mature, now she’s put the whole Duncan thing behind her – it works really well in showing how she has progressed through her story arc.
      My only tiny suggestion is about the two paragraphs starting “During that same week…” What I love about your storytelling is that we always feel so immersed in your story, like in the dialogue with Guy where it’s almost like we’re sitting at the kitchen table with them, so these two paras felt a little different. It felt a bit like stepping out of the story for a brief moment to be filled in about the in-between events from the outside – does that make sense?
      I was wondering whether maybe these could be seamlessly integrated with the present action instead, so the bit about Bernard could be slotted in where Guy and Fran talk about him and the bit about Guy not coming could be inserted as she arrives at the KBF maybe – what do you think?
      Honestly, I just can’t wait for Laszlo’s surprise and to see what happens between Fran and Bernard next. You’ve managed to integrate their storyline so well in your rewrite – huge congrats! 🙂

      • Ah thank you, Ben – this is a great suggestion re that ‘and in the meantime’ segment and I’m going to work them in to the next draft. Am printing the MS out this week and working on changes and chapter divisions so by them time week 26 comes around I’m ready to go, hopefully x

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Deryn

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@deryn

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