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Jeff Stone Jeff Stone
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Hello

Hello. My name is Jef. I write mostly literary fiction under the name Jeff Stone (but I'm not the famous Kung Fu writer of the same name). My first completed novel, Beyond the Blue, was accepted last autumn by Writer's Relief. They taught me lots and did a wonderful job, but in retrospect a literary novel written by someone lacking credentials is a particularly tough sell. So, I'm taking a break from pitching the novel with WR for now as I as work diligently to publish stories while also trying to decide which of two "second" novels deserves more attention in my "free time."

Ironically, my first published short story was more sci-fi than literary. Also, I had written two-thirds of a prescriptive nonfiction book focused on spiritual awareness and development (under a different pen name) before some things fell into place at exactly the right time, forcing me to complete Beyond the Blue—which I had abandoned years ago for personal reasons and never expected to finish. Focus is obviously a challenge, but my primary short-term goal is to publish fiction.

I'm also in other writing groups. Between writing, reading, and learning about writing, I often struggle to manage my time optimally. Nonetheless, I hope to find mutually beneficial relationships here.
“The moment comes when a character does or says something you hadn’t thought about. At that moment he’s alive and you leave it to him.”
 — Graham Greene
John Yeoman John Yeoman
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Welcome, Jeff. With your background as an experienced writer, you've definitely come to the right place. You can test your work here and get very useful feedback. I love your quote from Graham Greene: “The moment comes when a character does or says something you hadn’t thought about. At that moment he’s alive and you leave it to him.” Ay, that's the magic moment! It happened for me in my first historical novel when I felt that my character, a wicked apothecary, lacked plausibility. For example, why was he still a bachelor at age 33? (That was middle age in Elizabethan London.) So I gave him a marital background, a tragic past. Suddenly, his character made sense. And the rogue took over the story. Truly, I didn't write it. Please direct all criticism at him
peggles peggles
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Re: Hello

In reply to this post by Jeff Stone
Hello Jeff,

Welcome to penpal.


peggles
Jeff Stone Jeff Stone
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Re: Hello

In reply to this post by John Yeoman
Thank you! That absolutely makes sense. Although many of my protagonist's experiences were based on "real life" in my first novel, some of his background stemmed from his own attitudes and interactions (some of which were unexpected). In other words, the background justified his perspective.
“The moment comes when a character does or says something you hadn’t thought about. At that moment he’s alive and you leave it to him.”
 — Graham Greene
Jeff Stone Jeff Stone
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Re: Hello

In reply to this post by peggles
Thanks, Peggles!
“The moment comes when a character does or says something you hadn’t thought about. At that moment he’s alive and you leave it to him.”
 — Graham Greene
Coach Moe Coach Moe
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Hi Jeff,

I'm waiting for my character to do just that but, nada.  A warm welcome to SPP and looking forward to reading your submissions.  Best wishes for continued success.  Hugs, Moe
Jeff Stone Jeff Stone
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Hi Coach Moe,

One day we may wake and find our characters have done all sorts of things under cover of darkness. May your pen craft grand worlds, and may the rest of us be wise enough to recognize them.

Best regards,

Jeff
“The moment comes when a character does or says something you hadn’t thought about. At that moment he’s alive and you leave it to him.”
 — Graham Greene
Linnet Linnet
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Re: Hello

In reply to this post by Jeff Stone
Hello and welcome Jeff.
 
Congratulations too on the publication of your first novel.

This is a very interesting place to be.

Regards, Linnet

engemi ferreira engemi ferreira
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In reply to this post by Jeff Stone
Hi there Jef,
I must admit, I am a sucker for good quotes. I too liked the Graham Green admonishment, as I had to learn by trial and error to do exactly that: leave the characters when they speak. Sometimes it irks me when I have to 'edit' their speakings, after all; the words are theirs. But then I remind myself to not be ungrateful; at least they leave me some small space to be ... um, present.

And I do have similar difficulties to yours afa various writing commitments are concerned, somehow things work out. Often barely, but an un-complicated life can also be boring; so I work the scales ;~)

Welcome to PPS
engemi
Bea Bea
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Re: Hello

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Welcome, Jeff. I'm so glad you're here. I enjoy good literary fiction. I think my first finished short story could be categorized as such. I'm looking forward to reading excerpts of your work, and to your input!
Jeff Stone Jeff Stone
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In reply to this post by engemi ferreira
Engemi,

I have files and files of quotes. When I completed the profile, the Greene quote seemed apropos. He is one of my favorite authors as well. Your name is interesting. Is it perhaps Brazilian or Portuguese?

Thanks!

“The moment comes when a character does or says something you hadn’t thought about. At that moment he’s alive and you leave it to him.”
 — Graham Greene
Jeff Stone Jeff Stone
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Bea,

Maybe we should share feedback. It's interesting to me that the literary market is supposedly declining, yet  many of the short story collections and prize winners are literary. Of course, some people always talk about the emergence of "upmarket" fiction (a term which makes me cringe, but a rose by any other name, right?).

Best regards,

Jeff
“The moment comes when a character does or says something you hadn’t thought about. At that moment he’s alive and you leave it to him.”
 — Graham Greene
Bea Bea
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Yes, let's share feedback! Great idea.
ErnieB ErnieB
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Hi Jeff
As you can see we're eager to welcome you as a writer who has 'put pen to paper'...'tapper the keys a few thousand times' to our group. We critique as honestly as we can but we always remember one thing, we have all spent time with our backsides on a seat starring at a blank sheet of paper.

Welcome
Ernie