• Hi Hanri,

    Please don’t apologise and thank you for taking the time to read and to comment. I hope the hectic weeks have eased on your side.

    I like that you think that Vihaan might be insincere – I want to hold back at this point and not show us his heart and his head (apart from his professional side) and we’ll hopefully understand why later…[Read more]

  • Hi Hanri,

    I think I’m as strangely drawn to Hansen as Alma. You’ve beautifully presented the big man in this piece and it was a big surprise also, because he wasn’t at all the sleazeball that Sam (and I) expected.

    At the start, I enjoyed how Alma coached Sam on how to behave during the inquiry and to reserve judgement – which was ironic because…[Read more]

  • Thank you Deryn, yes it is! And there’s the beauty and value of the weekly feedback and support from this group.
    I’ve no confidence in the kitchen, but I’ll fake it until I can make it! 🙂

  • Hi Sudha,

    Thank you for reading and commenting, despite all the wholes in this scene – it is much appreciated 🙂 I’m glad you like Bessie and team Bessie-Grizelda will work on solving the McCrae family mess.

    Thank you for the details you point out – I am taking all of this on board. Apart from the hair, I can’t believe I missed that about the…[Read more]

  • Hi Peggy,

    I like her spirit! I didn’t feel her being that scared in this scene – it’s almost like she decided that fear won’t serve her and she is going to fight, defiant as you say (is that deliberate?)
    What performance is she excepted to give? Are they going to workship her or sacrifice her to some thirsty bloodgod who lives on the dark side…[Read more]

  • Hi Anne,

    Thank you for the sympathy 🙂 I took last week off and went off exploring le Finistère and came back home on sunday in time for another lockdown (Nr 3 in France – le confinement as they say this side..) and that took the wind out of my sails somewhat. The days of working from home and then curfews are getting long…On Tuesday I…[Read more]

  • Hi Sudha,

    Well done on another exciting,compelling and funny scene. You paint Mather as quite the character – seven minute alarm and earphones to dodge him. How did he ever get to be DA? How can one ever take someone like that seriously? And why is he pushing her towards Tom?

    Overall, he comes across as a slimy guy – and I wondered if the Y…[Read more]

  • Hi Anne,

    That was a lot of fun and things are getting very interesting! Poor girls just want to be left alone and enjoy their time together – but there is always something, a evasive suspect and a cocky guy who wont take no for an answer!

    I loved how you showed us in the opening paragraphs that the men were single – very well done. And the…[Read more]

  • Hi Deryn,

    So did it really have nothing to do with how she actually felt for Duncan, or is she just saying that to convince herself? I’m not sure…

    I really enjoyed this latest scene, especially having some airtime with Guy and also wondering when the bomb between Gio and Chrissie is going to explode. The cabin in die mountains definitely…[Read more]

  • Hi Hanri!

    OMG THE HAIR!!!! You’re so right, how could I miss that #theshame #lahonte!!!!

    Thank you for the detailed analysis, this is very helpful. As I mentioned to Deryn, I left this one a bit late and so the deadline got me bad this week.

    I am stoked about the details you spotted and then correlated back to her generation, this is very…[Read more]

  • Hi Deryn,

    Thank you for the read and for the feedback. I rushed this one (not that it’s an excuse – read: I left it till the last minute) and with the haste shoved it into the oven, only to realise that I didn’t mix my batter well – so now there’s some clumps in there and my little loaf may have to go to the birds! Fortunately I’ve got enough…[Read more]

  • La Rage – Scene 14 Bessie Dwaba by Jan

    #

    Lieutenant Bessie Dwaba shifted gears and pushed her foot down on the gas pedal of her new silver Volkswagen Polo. As car accelerated and she took in the views of the t […]

    • Hi Jan – a bit of a mixed bag this week, some lovely sections and others I found a bit clunky. The opening para commenting on the racial mix of the suburb, I would just leave that alone and have her merely aspire to a grand house in a fancy suburb. The gear changes after the first one, the direction of the steering wheel and engaging the clutch and brake were a bit showy – you can just make her as confident/competent a driver as she is at everything else – she is self assured in everything she does – (I like that her colleague underestimated her and she gave him a black eye!!) I just hope Grizelda lives long enough to unravel the mysteries you have given us… I like the tenderness of the friendship between these 2 women. Well done on no. 14!

      • Hi Deryn,

        Thank you for the read and for the feedback. I rushed this one (not that it’s an excuse – read: I left it till the last minute) and with the haste shoved it into the oven, only to realise that I didn’t mix my batter well – so now there’s some clumps in there and my little loaf may have to go to the birds! Fortunately I’ve got enough ingredients to start this one again 😉

        Thank you for the points you highlighted – I completely agree and will fix those. Also I can reassure you that Grizelda will solve all the mysteries before we say goodbye to her.
        Thank you for following me and for coming back every week!

        • Haha love that analogy with a lumpy dough mixture!! And…EVERYTHING is fixable!

          • Thank you Deryn, yes it is! And there’s the beauty and value of the weekly feedback and support from this group.
            I’ve no confidence in the kitchen, but I’ll fake it until I can make it! 🙂

    • Hi Jan! So Bessie Dwaba – she’s set up to become a kick-ass character. I liked that you steered clear of any of the obvious physical stereotypes with her. But you’ve sketched an upwardly mobile born-free / millennial South African, and I wouldn’t be able to deduct that if it wasn’t for some subtle stereotyping. Here’s what made it work: the teeth that had dental work done. That’s a big deal. Along with the VW Polo – the wheels of the young, up and coming. And of course, it’s got to be silver. Like everyone else, but not just a bland white car.
      I’m with Deryn on the para about the suburb. It feels as if that needs to come from Bessie herself, not from the narrator. And just getting her to think that directly would put us readers closer to her.
      Jan, very important : You’ve described Bessie to the T, but you’ve left out any reference to her hair. A woman is nothing without her hair! Based on the rest of what you describe, I picture Bessie with very, very short, very natural African hair, and a long elegant neck.
      The detailed description of Bessie that leads this section (also named after her) dominates, and the dialogue with Zelda seems like a little add-on at the end – an important add-on, because here is where you tie this line of the story back to the other storylines. Something we know by now you are a master at. Perhaps that dialogue part could be more subtly used for some of Bessie’s character description as well? It’d be great for getting some of the “tell-y” parts converted into “show-y” parts (like the aspirations of a house in the suburb). Of course, Zelda is not someone that would notice any of the material-girl paraphernalia and that might at once intrigue and exasperate Bessie, wouldn’t you say? Bessie seems to have unexplored attraction towards Zelda, and there’s a lot one can do with that and the cross of cultures to create a crackling of tension also in this scene. Although you’re already doing that with Vihaan and the evasive doctor, so maybe this here between Bessie and Zelda shouldn’t also be sexual attraction. I don’t know though – just thinking with my fingers here…

      • Hi Hanri!

        OMG THE HAIR!!!! You’re so right, how could I miss that #theshame #lahonte!!!!

        Thank you for the detailed analysis, this is very helpful. As I mentioned to Deryn, I left this one a bit late and so the deadline got me bad this week.

        I am stoked about the details you spotted and then correlated back to her generation, this is very reassuring. And I agree also that the first and second part are not well balanced – the second part needs to be developed more ( having Bessie exasperated at Grizelda’s indifference to material and telling more about the nice houses etc will do the trick) Thank you for these ideas!

        Another point which I will need to fix – the relationship between these girls is strickly friendly (like sisters almost), so if it comes across as there being a sexual undercurrent I’ll move a few things so that it’s presented as such – Bessie plays in part the “friend” role. I love that you say ‘kickass” character for Bessie, when I love her and just want her to go out kicking bad-guy ass, but in time.

        Thank you for the constant support Hanri, it is much appreciated!

    • Hi Jan
      I totally synpathise with the written-i-in-a-hurry scenario, and I hope you’ll tidy up the “clumps” as you describe them rather than ditch because this scene has loads going on. I’ve learnt that Zelda’s gifts are noticed and appreciated by professionals who might otherwise be dismissive, and we have a new character who could knock spots off some of your other stars. She’s energetci, ambitious and is clearly going to sort the McCrae stuff out.
      I think this sentence may be a bit long and could do with being chopped in two “As car accelerated and she took in the views of the tall trees that flanked the roadside and the massive walls that hid their equally massive houses and gardens that whirred by”. Also it doesn’t read right, I think the “and” leads to an expectation of something that doesn’t happen.
      I’m not going to comment in much detail as it’s clear you’re not entirely happy with the scene, but I look forward to seeing it again in second draft next year! Or sooner – is there a problem with rewriting a first draft if it moves things along?

      • Hi Anne,

        Thank you for the sympathy 🙂 I took last week off and went off exploring le Finistère and came back home on sunday in time for another lockdown (Nr 3 in France – le confinement as they say this side..) and that took the wind out of my sails somewhat. The days of working from home and then curfews are getting long…On Tuesday I realised I didn’t have anything and quickly threw this together. The priority is to keep writing and as Deryn says, we can fix anything later on.

        Thank you for reading me and for coming back every week – I really appreciate it and take all you say on board. In particular the sentences that are clunky and too long, please don’t hold back and always nitpick. When I’ve cleaned this one up I’ll check in with you and email you a “no clumps” and freshly baked (fully cooked also) scene?

        • Now that’s what I call a positive note, great! Would love to see the rewrite, as I said, there’s a ton of stuff in there to be mined. Oh, and by the way, you’re allowed time off!

    • Hi Jan,
      I like how strong and powerful Bessie is. And yes, the narrator’s commentary about the racial divide in the neighborhoods sticks out and takes away from the introducton of Bessie. . She and Grizelda make an interesting team with complementary skills. I too thought you were hinting at the beginning of a romantic relationship between Zelda and Bessie, especially when Grizelda kisses her on the cheek.
      Also, I found that there was a bit too much detail about the car–I tried to figure out what you meant as metaphors from the driving, but I couldn’t get it. And yes Bessie’s hair is important. You described Grizelda as blonde and Bessie is black. So it would be weird for Bessie to offer makeup to Grizelda, it seems that there woudl be very little overlap in the color range of the makeup that both of them needs.
      I particularly liked this description of Grizelda, “Grizelda saw ‘things’ in the details and drew links between different elements in a case – unlikely elements and so often presented new avenues where most investigators firmly believed that all avenues had been thoroughly explored, and abandoned.   “
      This is the kind of investigator everyone wished they had.
      Great scene and compelling characters.

      • Hi Sudha,

        Thank you for reading and commenting, despite all the wholes in this scene – it is much appreciated 🙂 I’m glad you like Bessie and team Bessie-Grizelda will work on solving the McCrae family mess.

        Thank you for the details you point out – I am taking all of this on board. Apart from the hair, I can’t believe I missed that about the makeup too… o well! The car métaphore is meant to show her in control, but it’s completely overdone so I’ll think of other ways to make that point, or just tone it done – as it stands she does come across as a tough cookie who won’t be pushed into a corner, so it’s probably not necessary to give to many details.

        Thank you for reading me and for your constant support, I really value that!

    • I’m so far behind on my reading this week, sorry for the late response, Jan.

      I see you’ve gotten a lot of good comments, so I won’t repeat what others have already pointed out, except to say that I really like the way you’ve portrayed Bessie. Add in the description from Hanri and I can clearly picture her in my mind. She’s badass and likely doesn’t put up with sh*t from others, as the constable learned to his dismay! I like the friendship between Bessie and Zelda, I didn’t pick up on sexual attraction, just the closeness of two women who respect and admire each other.
      The ominous ending you left this scene has just the right amount of tension to leave the reader wanting more! Come on Wednesday!!!

  • Thank you Anne, I’m always up for a whiskey! I’m right across the channel from you (by about 300km’s I estimate) and an hour time difference – so any evening can work 🙂

  • Hi Hanri,

    Beautiful layering of writing, emotion and intrigue, and quite a mess for dear Laura. Poor girl just wants to have a drink and unwind, but even when she is going home – to the supposed “safe place” – she still has to be on her guard and manage her fiancé.

    I found that part quite unsettling – that she would ask her lawyer to come with…[Read more]

  • Hi Sudha,

    I’m very grateful for that close eye of yours – and very appreciative of your medical point of view. You keep me honest in this regard and that is very reassuring.

    As I mentioned to Deryn, I was worried about the dialogue here as I was looking for exactly that – a doctor that can quickly put the patient at ease, and at the same time…[Read more]

  • Thank you Deryn! I was very worried about the dialogue here, that it wouldn’t come across right. Regarding the disease – it’s coming 🙂
    Thank you for coming back to my story every week – it means a lot.

  • Hi Deryn,

    Before I knew it, it was over! And I wanted to know what she was going to say next? I’d thought she and Bernard had ironed out their differences but he clearly still harbours a lot of resentment towards her.
    The phrase “you English girls” also says a lot. Apart from that, I just couldn’t see Bernard in a floral shirt – more appropriate…[Read more]

  • Hi Peggy,

    Not wanting to give anything away, I’d say again – your intuition is spot on!
    This is the first scene where we are with Vihaan from his POV, so it’s important that it ties up with what we saw before and there may be some inconsistencies – thank you for bringing my attention to it.
    We will be spending a lot of time with him and we will…[Read more]

  • Hi Peggy,

    Poor girl just wants to sit down and have a sip of wine and enjoy a quiet moment by herself! Instead she gets more work (will this new club be somehow linked to what’s going on – I put my money on yes ;-)) and gets tummy-growls from the neighbours’ cooking and get to be the pillar for Benji again.

    Well done on how you’ve linked the…[Read more]

  • Load More

Jan

Profile picture of Jan

@jandevries

Active 1 day, 7 hours ago
Short Story balance: 0
Poetry balance: 0
WTC balance: 0
52 Scenes balance: 14