Frankie’s review of “A Slice of the Adirondacks.”
Story 4 from A Slice of the Adirondacks and Other Capers.
The videos for Stories 1-3 are now live on YouTube. All three are viewable here on the Parkgate Press YouTube Channel. They are narrated by my slightly mad brother, Frankie. He’s even created his own corner for reviewing my stories, and called it, well, Frankie’s Corner.
Each video corresponds to the story from The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes, with a tag line that reflects that story’s theme. For example, Video 1 is titled “Have You Ever Gambled and Won Something You Couldn’t Afford?” since Story 1, “The Man in Gray Tie,” is about a man who fraudulently pushes the prices up at auctions. He gets what he deserves, but not before he wins something he couldn’t pay for….
Video 2 is titled “Have You Ever Crossed a Line of Decency You Shouldn’t Have?” and reflects the theme of consent in Story 2, “(He) Said, (She) Said.” It’s a story about consent, set on a London college campus close to Tottenham Court Road. Do you believe what he said, or she said? Who drank too much, but who slipped away in the morning?
Finally, Video 3 is titled “Would You Go Into Business With Your Best Friend?” and reflects the theme of plagiarism in “The Last Page of Friendship.” Two Seattle women want to write the Great American Short Story. Have they got what it takes? Who is prepared to go further than her best frenemy?
At last, I have revamped my website. It’s officially relaunching today, with all new bells and whistles.
The most exciting new development is the videos section. Currently there are four videos available, with five to follow. Together they will make the nine videos to accompany the nine stories in Rising Apes, Falling Angels, my first collection of stories. The videos are narrated by my brother Frankie from London.
There’s now a section where you can contact me. Often people don’t want to switch over to their email: hence the message form. I get the message delivered directly to my email. As they say in America, write me.
Otherwise, the website has lots more information about my two novels, The Knight of New Orleans and The Murderess and the Hangman. There’s also a section (under Future Works) about my upcoming new novel, American Con Artist, about the painter, forger and illegal immigrant on the run, Elmyr de Hory. Go track him down.
Thanks for visiting www.mattfullerty.com.
Meet my brother Frankie! He’s done me some really big favors in my life, not least agreeing to read my stories (after much cajoling on my part, and the agreement I’d buy him an all-expenses paid trip to America). Watch this space, Frankie!
Frankie is a video commentator on my stories, which he delivers with astute honesty, sometimes a little too much honesty. I value his opinion, even if it’s negative and cynical. The boy speaks from the heart. If he doesn’t like a story he doesn’t just say so, he tells you why. Now that’s feedback.
Voila Frankie’s videos and links to the associated stories:
Writing for years, I’ve learned the hard way that I make mistakes. Lots of them. In fact, it’s so easy to make mistakes, you can spend all your time correcting past ones when you should be writing new material.
Errors are there to be corrected, but wouldn’t it be far nicer to write on, a little less haunted? James Joyce once said: “I don’t make mistakes. My mistakes are the portals of discovery.” I love the sentiment, but arguably I’m not James Joyce (last time I looked).
One answer is to try and get readers for your work. In the past, I’ve baulked. What, showing my work to someone? I had to get over this. If you can’t show work-in-progress, how will you ever release writing to the big, bad world? My advice is to just get two readers.
Why two? Well, it’s enough to manage. Not only do you have to write to a schedule, you have to incorporate their edits. That’s the idea: they comment at the macro level (characters, story, setting) and micro (language, pace, typos), and you have to interpret it all.
I’m very grateful to my two readers currently offering feedback on Rising Apes, Falling Angels. I offer them a small fee per story, and in return I plan a schedule of turnaround dates. I leave it open what they work on exactly: I’m happy for them to read the story, and focus on whatever strikes them as needing most work, including what I did well (something!). It’s good to know what you write well, in order to write more of it. Of course, it’s even better to know what’s pretty poor, in order to rewrite or cut.
Readers also notice factual and continuity errors. One of my readers noticed a continuity mistake in (He) Said, (She) Said, a story about consent (or perhaps lack of) from The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes. Here’s the reader’s comment:
Also—you make such a deal out of Danny not having his watch on at the bar and on the walk home but you say that he clicked his watch on after the non-rape-rape encounter…not sure if I misread this but I think you may have made a little slip up.
Of course, in a story where facts and point of view are paramount, I hadn’t intended the error. Danny will no longer have a magically appearing watch, given he never brought it out to the bar in the first place.
Just as important, readers pass opinion on believability and levels of excitement or apathy.
Ultimately, having readers of drafts ‘in your corner’ is a social connection for the isolating business of the daily writing grind. It’s a way of connecting with ‘real readers’ (which they are too, of course). That’s what writing is all about—“only connect,” as E. M. Forster said.
So bringing the process forward is both professional and a step toward answering messages from more people, once the time comes.
Happy reader hunting!