• Wicked Wisteria (Scene #4) by Marilyn Weisman


    Katie turned to me as she was putting out place settings at the counter.

    “I heard the body was Dr. Parente.”

    “I heard the same thing,” I said.  “I don’t know […]

    • Intriguing scenes Marilyn! I like that you’ve used dialogue to convey what’s happening with the late David Parante! Well done, it really helps to draw the reader in and show without telling. One thing that stuck out was the dialogue tags. There are too many ‘he said,’ ‘she said,’ ‘I asked’ etc. You only need one or two per conversation, especially when there’s a back-and-forth between two characters. The reader knows that the other person is talking when the line changes.
      You’ve used gestures to attribute speech which works well and conveys subtle information like the character’s emotion. I would use that more, for example:
      Maria was bent over at the table, head in her hands. “So many people called to cancel!”
      The line implies that Maria was speaking, and shows that she was moaning.
      Last, remove redundant bits. Showing the MC shopping for vitamin C and talking about the dog with the pharmacist doesn’t add anything to the scene.
      ‘I shopped around until Doc finished with his customer at the dispensary.
      “Did you know David Parante?” I asked after our usual exchange about my two mutts.’
      Admittedly, I’ve jumped into the story at this scene, maybe those details are important for the story, in which case keep them! Hopefully my comments are useful. Good luck for the next prompt!

  • What an interesting scene!
    What are the chances?
    I can’t wait to see where this goes from here.
    This scene was well written, loved the description of the location, and fast moving.
    Can’t wait for tomorrow.

  • I am steeped even deeper into this mystery after reading Scene #2.
    I have been behind in my following the stories, but I want to invest in the reading along as a novel is quite different than a short story to follow.
    I enjoyed the scene in the Police Station and I think the updates are helpful at dispensing information possibly missed in the…[Read more]

  • Atmosphere. Setting the mood.
    I thought the italicized words about the monks was strange as an intro, but then saw the connection to the boxed in windows in one of the rooms.
    Where is Mel? I’m not certain…is there a body in the second room?
    I did not get the reference to the 50’s, but being here in the States, it would be a bit…[Read more]

  • And the plot continues.
    Loved the description of the boss everyone has had at one time or another.
    Maybe she ought to sweeten the green tea with some honey?
    At first when she was grabbed from behind, I thought it was the guys who were after Mr. Rude.
    I, in fact, having remembered a gun to his head earlier, thought he was dead and…[Read more]

  • I really liked the metaphor of the sentence: He could smell the mouldy coffee and the overripe fruit and the wilted sage on the window sill.
    After seeing the house in one light, good memories of canes and leather hats, as the mood become more somber, that sentence said it all for me. I am intrigued about Albert’s parents, perhaps it is the…[Read more]

  • I was somewhat disoriented when your MC spoke about having cut herself and Bernedine had taken her to the school counselor. It made me stop because I thought she was an adult, but that sentence made it sound like she was a teenager. Maybe it’s just me but the story isn’t making it clear when the story about the strange arrangement with the…[Read more]

  • And you are doing a remarkable job!!! Can’t wait for tomorrow’s episode!!!

  • Thank you, Anne, for reading all my scenes thus far and for the helpful critique!
    I hoped it appeared that Wisteria, Texas (not a real town in Texas) would be the small town where the action takes place and everyone lives.
    I will admit, I try to pattern my mysteries after Agatha Christie’s small village themes.
    I’m wondering why the dialogue…[Read more]

  • Thank you, Elizabeth, for reading and critiquing my work.
    Oh, the ghost is really there….I just have to finish working her into more of the plot.
    And there is always that question of 1st person or all-knowing 3rd?
    I am glad that this is a first draft and I will eventually have to go all the way back and change all the pronouns!

  • Thanks, Riana, for your insightful remarks and for continuing to read my story.
    As an aside….I once had a ‘dry socket’ with the extraction of one of my wisdom teeth….just another reason I hate dentists….and maybe, psychologically, that’s why a dentist was the victim? Hmmmm….
    I agree with you on the line breaks and when I transfer the…[Read more]

  • Thanks for continuing to read my story and commenting, Georgiana!
    I agree that the ghost needs a name and more exposure of her personality.
    Talking about conversation in Tommi’s head reminds me of the prompt I’m working on for Writing The Crap Out of It.
    Internal dialogue.
    I’ve only recently caught on to dialogue, now I’ve got to work on…[Read more]

  • Thanks, Ben, for continuing the journey and your kind remarks.
    No matter how serious my story starts out being, one of the characters or another grabs hold of things and off we go!
    Glad you liked the ‘apparition’, I think we’ll be seeing more of her. I need a name….hmmmm….

  • Thanks, Riana, for the suggestions.
    I will be changing the script-like format of the police questioning and changing it more to a conversational style in later edits.
    My characters sometimes surprise me with what they are thinking.
    Again, thank you!

  • Thank you, Georgiana. I hadn’t even thought yet about procedure, but that is very helpful.
    A fellow writer friend bought me a book on police procedure and such and I really need to look it over more carefully.
    Good idea about how Tommi gets the information, could make it more interesting.

  • Thank you, Jens , for continuing to follow my story.
    I am making somewhat of an effort to slow things down a bit.
    I thought I did spell relative, relative?
    Again, thank you for reading and commenting on my story!

  • Thank you, for your critique.
    I’m not sure why I included the remark about the mouse, except to show the confusion going on and the concern that Tommi had for her friend, Maria.
    I agree about the script format and in the future edited versions, I will be changing that to dialogue.
    Thanks again!

  • What a delightful story.
    I liked that Liam and Brianna felt so comfortable working together and as I always say, “Trust the dogs” … if they take a liking to someone, you can trust them.
    I like the background of the locale, the story of Liam’s family background and how it ties into his being there.
    I also understand the reluctance Brianna…[Read more]

  • I am starting to see details of relationships.
    Aunt Bea and Albert’s Dad. Wondering why Dad was so anxious to be rid of the property.
    Is there something about the dynamics of Dad and Granddad’s background here?
    Descriptions of details are great….like Albert having to squeeze through the cramped space between the backs of the seats in front…[Read more]

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Marilyn Weisman

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