Cathy Taibbi

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Let's start by letting me beta-read for you.

:- )

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“It might be a microbe,a strand of lost nucleic acid,a molecule of enzyme,or a nameless hairless lit…
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  •  · Ah, thank you, Bob, for catching that dropped word for me!  And the spelling error (sometimes we can…

I read right through without stopping, immediately immersed in the story. 

Now I will take my own sad little sci fi tale I've been trying to make work for EVER, and slink back under a rock with it. 😒 LOL

Gawd, that happened to me and a book I wrote years ago. I was so mortified I shelved it for decades. Now I know, these things happen. Look what happens when two movies are released that are obviously along the same theme. I think a lot of us have experienced that sense of dread, feeling we've been robbed, or we lost because someone else did it first. But we haven't, The Universe just comes up with ideas in batches across the globe, and we catch them (also in batches, across the globe) and try to make bring them to life, each in out own way.  So yeah, just write YOUR story, your way and then see what happens. 

Just read your story and I have to agree with the above comments. Sorry if the I am being too straight forward, but right now, unfortunately, it is coming across as preachy. Telling, as well as emotional distancing, such as "She felt her heart pounding in her chest as it tightened so she could hardly breathe," for instance could be "It was getting hard to breathe, what with her heart pounding so hard and her chest tightening in a vice-grip of fear." (Not great but just for example.) In short, I was not able to lose sight of the fact that I was reading, as opposed to becoming immersed in the events. No emotional involvement for me.

No one else mentioned the first lines, but I had to take a second read because I thought the story was about Caroline, then it turned out to be about Cat. 

Honestly, I think Anthony would have been a bit offended, or hurt, by her attitude. Understanding, maybe, but also hurt. Possibly even angry. Or, conversely, he may have wanted to reassure or soothe.  But I did not believe this story in my heart, the way it is currently written. Although I can definitely relate to taking the wrong trains (or whatever) and getting hopelessly lost in a big city. That is me, all over! THAT would send me into a near-panic reaction (and has, in the past.) That, combined with Cat's knee-jerk racism could indeed combine to reach a light-headed fever-pitch of emotion. So I know this story can work, with a little more work. I'd love it if, once she realized her overreaction, Cat could laugh at herself or chide herself for being silly. I'd  be kicking myself, having considered myself a liberal and then seeing how I reacted in real life. And I'd know I had a lot of soul-searching to do.

Mark, I was reading through and (honestly) sort of daydreaming, when this phrase jumped out at me: These are the things that remind us of our humanity. 

Wow.

Maybe open with that, then shorten/strengthen/restructure the rest. And do not diminish yourself/your observations and experiences. You don't want to convince an agent you are dull, you want them to find you and what you have to say, fascinating and compelling. Then show us those things that define us so well!

:-)





I'm so glad you said that, because back in the tribal days, I suspect storytelling wasn't about anything but -- STORY. And everyone held on every word to see what happened next. Something I need to keep in mind with my own writing.  It doesn't matter how fancy I dress it up if the story isn't riveting. 

In the USA, it seems TV/Film comps are not acceptable -- At least from the 121s I had here. 

Well, I am not into such 'play' but found the story compelling. In fact I had to leave the page for a while to tend to something and (because I have so many tabs and windows open) panicked a little when I couldn't find the one with your story, because I wanted to finish reading it. Not every story will bring me back like that. I have abandoned many. But Bravo, this kept me 'turning pages' until the end!

I find it sad that, at least in English-speaking countries, we have to cater to the lowest common denominator.  I read Elaine Pagel's  The Gnostic Gospels when I was in my 30s. (Maybe the word is more prevalent in religious/spiritual circles?) If the intended audience would be one versed in mysticism, theology etc., perhaps the title could stand, But in this case, unfortunately, you are probably right. It's all about marketing. In the ancient days there was  no need to worry about marketing or dumbing down for the masses, in fact, only the few were to gain access. Sort of like ancient the references, cited now by that amazing and revolutionary Russian horseman Alexander Nevzorov, of which only three volumes were permitted to exist so the masses would not be able to access (and presumably distort) them. 

On the other hand, you are right. The short and catchy title suggestions are brilliant.

LOL, the view from my soap box right now is rather stunning, isn't it? Hahaha -- long day, tired brain.   😂 


Different and maybe wrong viewpoint here, but I have found sometimes getting mad at myself/my manuscript can free me up to chop and cut and rearrange and discover important nuances to a struggling project. You can work on a copy of your file, title it B or something, and have at it, without destroying your original. For me, sometimes the anger/passion breaks the mesmerism and allows me to make a breakthrough, even if it's just for a paragraph that is suddenly seen in trying a different POV or tense. Try changing the tense. I changed my struggling book from past tense to present and suddenly I could get into my peeps heads and learn more about them to advance the story than I was able to before. Change it up-- print it out, read it with fresh eyes. Make a pdf, change the font, read it in email form -- anything to trick the brain into seeing it as NEW, and therefore objectively. It's a take on the old artist's trick of turning their canvas upside down or holding it up to a mirror. It is astounding how you SEE things (good or bad) you didn't see before! This may all be bunk but, I have found it helps me.


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