• So Much for Optimism by Gene Glotzer

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    Nothing much changed over the next weeks, but I did feel a little better after talking to Doctor Chopra. I went for a walk every evening. It was nice, just me, my music, […]

    • Hi Gene
      I enjoyed reading your scene, it was a good continuation from your last scene. Good use of dialogue to carry the story forward. I’m still curious as to why Lauren doesn’t want to be with her husband, or is it that she didn’t want to get pregnant and blames him?? I’ll have to continue reading your next scene.
      Good job!

    • I’m sorry you have having an awful March; I hope it’ll pass and you’ll have a better April!

      Your scene is progressing nicely. A thought just jumped into my head about why Lauren is behaving the way she is – but I won’t spoil is if I’m wrong since it’s just a hunch… (this is out of habit – I read a lot of murder/mystery books; so even when I’m reading stories in other genre, I still keep guessing to see if I can predict the plot lol.)

    • Hi Gene

      This scene moves along nicely. We get a sense of what is going on in their new circumstances and a clear appreciation of the downsides of the early months of pregnancy (and how hopes of normalcy to come). The characterisations of the two work well together and we can see – although there is little tension – how supportive he is of her. I like the way you set up the small confrontation over the trip to Vito’s, and wonder if this might be an indication of some further differences of opinion to come. The introduction of the car being in the car park early is curious and sets up further scenes in the future.

      A nice scene to read.

      Martin

  • Progress by Gene Glotzer

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    I could feel Lauren tighten up. It was like she clenched her whole body and soul. She stared at the TV although I could tell she wasn’t watching it. I wanted to let it go, let her r […]

    • Good use of dialogue and body language moving your scene forward.  I like how you show the tension between the husband and his pregnant wife, Lauren.  It’s believable how concerned he is about her health as well as the baby’s, especially because she’s not talking to him; the huge lack in communication on her part.  Although, being pregnant can cause mood swings, and with extreme nausea not wanting to eat or smell food.
      Keep writing!

    • Another easy to read scene. Glad we’re getitng a bit more of the backstory. The only confusion I had was about which doctor Lauren was going to call? I thought Dr Johnson but then Jim called Dr Chopra (OB)? I’m guessing Dr Johnson is a psychiatrist or something? 
      Can’t wait to see what happens next.

  • Recalibration by Gene Glotzer

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    Not much changed over the next week. We never actually talked about what happened at my parents’ house. We were doing a not-so-fun little dance to mostly avoid each other while w […]

    • A nice scene. Of course, coming in at this point, I have no idea of context, but it seems headed somewhere definite. There was one line – not today…not today that stopped me because you have she scowled between but it was your MC speaking. Other than that, a smooth and interesting read.

    • I enjoyed reading your scene, Gene. The tension between Lauren and her husband was believeable and well shown. Lauren’s mood swings and inability to tolerate smells showed how her pregnancy was effecting her. I haven’t read your other scenes though, and her anger and lack of wanting to be around him is worrisome to her husband. This makes me think there may be more to her anger than pregnancy mood swings, but I’m not sure what. Good ending. Leaving it at “Could we talk?” Makes me wonder what Lauren’s response will be. Well written!

    • Another fast scene to read!

      Having read from beginning to now, I wonder if the tension between Lauren and MC should escalate more, as it’s similar to the previous scene(s)?

      Agree with Nina about breaking the “not today” lines, e.g.

      “Not today. Unless. . .”
      she scowled
      “Not today.” I repeated.

      Good cliffhanger ending!

    • Becky replied 1 month ago

      Hi Gene! Another good scene written! Though I do agree with Christa, I also suggest a little more tension or change in character/goal to move the story along. This time you left me wanting an omelet instead of a hot dog. haha! 🙂
      I suggest changing the second paragraph to put the reader in the scene (show the dialogue instead of telling us about it).
      Is this line both of them speaking? If so, break up into 2 paragraphs. If not, clarify: “Not today. Unless. . .” she scowled, “Not today.”
      Definitely a good hook at the end–I’m ready for that conversation!

  • Thanks, Sharon. I get what you’re saying about Lauren. You’re right, it’s not just the pregnancy. I knew going in that the hardest part of this story was going to be keeping Lauren a sympathetic character without minimizing her mental health issues. If all goes well, the next few scenes should clarify Jim’s feelings.

  • Yes, Ben is Jim’s brother. Thanks for the observations, Jim’s parents weren’t supposed to notice what Jim was noticing, so I should definitely make that clearer.
    I am in the US, but in the Northeast. I haven’t named any geographic markers in the story, but it’s an amalgam of several towns and cities I’ve lived in in central and south-central Connecticut.

  • Hi Sharon. I enjoy the way Pan is not a typical little green man. It’s nice to have some kind of explanation for how an alien appears so human. I did find the change in POV a little jarring. For almost 10,000 words everything has been from Shelly’s perspective. When I started this scene, I actually wondered if I had missed something. Maybe you…[Read more]

  • Hi Christa. I liked the fight scene, but like another commenter, I was a little confused why the guy didn’t follow her into the room. I also liked the sleeping outside flashback. It reminded me of my daughter. We sleep outside a few times every summer.

  • Thanks. Yes, Ben is Jim’s brother. I’ll try to add some hooks. That’s a good idea.

  • Hi Becky. I really liked this scene. As you might be able to tell from my own scenes, I really like stories about everyday life, and you’ve captured it very well here. I don’t have any criticism. I will say that I didn’t know the greeting had changed. I guess I haven’t been to a Catholic mass since 2010.

  • News by Gene Glotzer

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    That afternoon, I got a text from my mom, “Ben and his family canceled last night last minute. We have tons of leftovers. You and Lauren should come over for dinner tonight.”

    I rep […]

    • Hi Gene,
      Poor Jim. They’ve got an awkward form of communication in their marriage it seems, but it is relatable and realistic. And perhaps hindered by pregnancy hormones.
      Is Ben the MC’s brother?
      I’d suggest some more notes about setting/body language/emotional reaction during the text “dialogue” in the first part of this scene.
      Also, maybe put more of a hook at the end. I want to keep reading to see if/how/when he tells his parents, if/how/when they have problems with their pregnancy, and how their marriage is affected by it, so maybe drop something about one of those elements at the end of the scene? Just a thought.

      • Thanks. Yes, Ben is Jim’s brother. I’ll try to add some hooks. That’s a good idea.

    • This is another fast scene to read.

      I am also guessing Ben is the brother? I am curious to know if Lauren had a good relationship with the in-laws so that her hugging and all seemed “normal” to Jim’s parents and they didn’t suspect anything is wrong, But Jim could see through it? Perhaps earlier when Jim told Lauren about being invited, we could see a bit more of a reaction from Lauren and Jim. Like when Lauren said she didn’t want to, Jim could say something like “Why? I thought you love them!” etc… just so we can learn a little bit more about the characters and their relationship with each other.

      You are great at writing about realistic scenes, I was nodding along. I don’t know why but if you’re in the US I was getting a bit of a Midwestern vibe 🙂

      • Yes, Ben is Jim’s brother. Thanks for the observations, Jim’s parents weren’t supposed to notice what Jim was noticing, so I should definitely make that clearer.
        I am in the US, but in the Northeast. I haven’t named any geographic markers in the story, but it’s an amalgam of several towns and cities I’ve lived in in central and south-central Connecticut.

    • Hi, Gene. Nice scene. It is fun following your characters, but I am starting to not care for Lauren. I don’t think all this miserable behavior is because of the pregnancy. I think she is just trying to get Jim agitated. Maybe the marriage is in trouble. She obviously could put up a good front and be nice to the in-laws, so why is she such a ????? toward Jim. You are very good at dialogue and making it sound authentic. Keep writing.

      • Thanks, Sharon. I get what you’re saying about Lauren. You’re right, it’s not just the pregnancy. I knew going in that the hardest part of this story was going to be keeping Lauren a sympathetic character without minimizing her mental health issues. If all goes well, the next few scenes should clarify Jim’s feelings.

  • Thanks, Christa. Pat, the real-life Sam, is short for Patricia. She’s female. I was actually playing a little game with myself by renaming her Sam. I had noticed that I never specified a gender, and I was kind of seeing how long I could keep that up. That’s why the odd construction during Jim and Sam’s conversation. I was trying to avoid a “she”.…[Read more]

  • Hi Christa. Another good scene. I’m enjoying the Faya/Holt interactions. It’s interesting the way she thought she knew him so well, but she’s still learning a lot about him. One thing I felt was missing was some kind of resolution with the man who had his wine stolen. When Holt brought the thief back in, I feel like he should have returned the…[Read more]

  • Hi Becky. I have to agree with the others that the family dynamic is excellent. They clearly care for each other even as they tease. Take this or leave it, but I had the opposite reaction to the Marie Kondo reference as another commenter. I was only dimly aware of the name and didn’t know anything about her. You did a good job of filling me in,…[Read more]

  • Hi Sharon. I too like the diary entries. It’s nice hearing Shelly’s thoughts directly. I did feel like in some of the non-diary parts you were telling more than showing. If Belinda is going to be important down the road, I’d like to see how they meet, and see some interactions between them instead of just being told that they became friends. I…[Read more]

  • Thanks Becky. Those are great suggestions. I’ve never written anything this long before, so I know I’m having some trouble with pacing. Most of the stories I write happen over the course of an hour, or, at most, a day. I should build in some, “a few days later”, or “the following week”s to spread the action out some. Nine months is a long time. Of…[Read more]

  • Thanks, Sharon. Those are good observations. I don’t usually write in first person perspective, so I’m having a little trouble deciding what’s clear and what’s only clear in the MCs head. You are right, Darren and Kelly are a couple and Kelly is pregnant. The MC’s name is Jim and he and Lauren are a couple and Lauren is pregnant. Darren and Jim…[Read more]

  • Questions by Gene Glotzer

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    Note: In earlier scenes, Sam and Darcy were named Pat and Diane. Pat and Diane are the real names of people I worked with when my daughter was on the way. I just felt like I should […]

    • Hi, Gene. I am enjoying your scenes. I am having trouble keeping everyone straight. Darren and Kelly are a couple and Kelly is pregnant. Lauren and the main character are a couple, too. It would help if you gave us a name for the MC. Is the MC male or female? Lauren is a woman’s name , so I am not sure who is who. Sorry, I have tried to reread it. When you wrote,“How was your weekend?” he asked. – I wasn’t sure who was talking. If I was sitting down and this was the only book I was reading, it would probably be OK to leave out names on the dialogue tags, but trying to read multiple scenes each week makes it hard to follow all the stories. Looking forward to #8.

      • Thanks, Sharon. Those are good observations. I don’t usually write in first person perspective, so I’m having a little trouble deciding what’s clear and what’s only clear in the MCs head. You are right, Darren and Kelly are a couple and Kelly is pregnant. The MC’s name is Jim and he and Lauren are a couple and Lauren is pregnant. Darren and Jim are friends who work together and Sam and Darcy are Jim’s (friendly) coworkers.

    • Hi Gene! This scene flew by, I enjoyed reading it. It most flowed really well, just a few suggestions: use “Darce” rather than “Darc”, I had an instinct to use a hard c. Who floated over the divider? (you are missing a name). Eight weeks seems so early to be loading up on baby stuff. Maybe address why: did Darren’s sister want it out of her house ASAP? Was it Kelly’s way of getting herself excited about the baby? They never knew anyone who had a miscarriage or problems in pregnancy? Looking forward to next week! -Becky

      • Thanks Becky. Those are great suggestions. I’ve never written anything this long before, so I know I’m having some trouble with pacing. Most of the stories I write happen over the course of an hour, or, at most, a day. I should build in some, “a few days later”, or “the following week”s to spread the action out some. Nine months is a long time. Of course, I’m also trying to contrast Jim and Lauren’s experience from Darren and Kelly’s. Jim and Lauren planned and research and prepared, but very little is going to go as normal. Darren and Kelly tripped and fell into it, but it’s going to be the world’s most “standard” pregnancy. I hope that makes sense.

        • I did pick up on the contrast between the two couples pregnancy experiences; you portray it well. Good job with that. Though my opinion is that 8 weeks seems kind of early, you may want to get a second opinion–dont change it if you disagree or have had a different experience. Another idea is just have them get the crib from his sister, not everything right away? Things to think about whenever you get around to editing (for me that will probably be after the 52 weeks are over).

    • Another scene with great flow.

      I was a little lost when I got to this part- “Sam?” / “What?” floated over the divider between our desks. – perhaps added some tags here so we know it’s the MC who said Sam, and it’s Sam who answered?

      I was also curious if Sam was female or male – probably doesn’t really matter but with the banter with Darcy I’m guessing female (same went for Pat before). Probably insignificant that there’s no need for name change again…

      As for whether 8 months is too early to get the clothes and such – perhaps Darren/Kelly’s SIL is renovating and they want stuff out of the house, even though it seemed a bit early? Or that Darren/Kelly are overly excited or Kelly is a Type A who likes to plan everything in advance and be ready?

      I have no problem following who is who so far, but I can see why sometimes it may be a bit confusing. It’s sometimes hard to remember all the names/details though when we only read a scene every week, and reading multiple stories at once!

      • Thanks, Christa. Pat, the real-life Sam, is short for Patricia. She’s female. I was actually playing a little game with myself by renaming her Sam. I had noticed that I never specified a gender, and I was kind of seeing how long I could keep that up. That’s why the odd construction during Jim and Sam’s conversation. I was trying to avoid a “she”. I do see how it is confusing. This probably won’t last, but these are the things I do to amuse myself while I work.

  • Hi Christa. I actually thought the song was in Faya’s head until Holt commented on it. I’m not sure why. This is my own ignorance of their society, but Holt has never traveled either? I wasn’t sure if it was because of Faya’s gender or if they are just not a very mobile people. I’m intrigued by Faya’s memory. I wish I could remember the details of…[Read more]

  • It is six feet tall. I should add that. I can’t imagine any non-bakery dedicating that much real estate to pies. Thanks for your comment.

  • Thank you.

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Gene

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@gglotzer

Active 2 weeks ago
Short Story balance: 1
Poetry balance: 0
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52 Scenes balance: 11