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Jozi Gold > Week 2

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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 1038 comments Mod
Chapter 11-22

message 2: by Leanne (new)

Leanne Hunt (leannehunt) Well, we're into week 2 of the discussion and i want to thank those of you who have participated so far. John, your comments at the end of the week 1 discussion were pertinent. I can see where a more gradual tightening of the tension would have served the story well. I guess I was impatient to set jeannie up with a problem to face, rather than keeping her in the dark any longer than necessary! This is where plotting would have come in useful — next time I edit my a manuscript I will pay more attention to the element of suspense.
Now, what about Valerie? We start to see a different side of her in Chapter 11 and I'm interested to know whether you like what you see?

message 3: by John (new)

John Mountford (KillMandela) | 735 comments Leanne, I do like the twist to Valerie's profile. Despite her busting Craig's b...s - which she is fully entitled to - I never doubted her depth of character. She's the first character to show the potential for both strength and depth. I like her.

message 4: by Leanne (new)

Leanne Hunt (leannehunt) I like her too, John! Of all the characters, Valerie was the one who gave me the chance to talk in fighting terms, and that was fun. Don't you find it liberating to get into your characters' shoes and express yourself>

message 5: by John (new)

John Mountford (KillMandela) | 735 comments We seldom get to say the things we should have, or wanted to, because in real-time conversations things happen too quickly. The smart or clever response usually occurs to us long after the conversation has ended.
However, as an author, you get to tailor your characters response to give the witty or right answer. That I do find enjoyable.

message 6: by Leanne (new)

Leanne Hunt (leannehunt) John wrote: "We seldom get to say the things we should have, or wanted to, because in real-time conversations things happen too quickly. The smart or clever response usually occurs to us long after the convers..."

Agreed! But it's not only the witty comments. It's the various sides of an argument, too. As thinking people, authors are able to see things from various perspectives and this can make for a vary uncomfortable inner life if there are conflicting "voices" competing for attention. In Jozi Gold, I was consciously exploring my own mixed feelings and opposing thoughts on a couple of key issues. One of them was the extent to which a wife can and should be independent from her husband, and another was the cost of stepping out beyond one's comfort zone to realise one's dreams. These are really important issues in personal growth and having characters and a stage on which to play them out enabled me to clarify my opinions. I don't expect readers to come to exactly the same conclusions as me, but I believe they do get a chance to think along lines they may not have tracked before.

message 7: by John (new)

John Mountford (KillMandela) | 735 comments Absolutely! Writing fiction is cathartic...and empowering! I'm loving writing my second book more than the first.

message 8: by Leanne (new)

Leanne Hunt (leannehunt) John wrote: "Absolutely! Writing fiction is cathartic...and empowering! I'm loving writing my second book more than the first."

That's great, John. To tell you the truth, I have been through quite a long drought where writing is concerned. I have a completed manuscript but got weary of it three-quarters of the way through the first revision. I enjoy the writing much more than the editing.

message 9: by John (new)

John Mountford (KillMandela) | 735 comments Valerie makes an interesting observation: that Jeannie cannot be 'interested'(sexually) in Craig to be so naive about his long-standing affair. Is this a fair comment, Leanne? You stay away from this aspect of Jeannie and Craig's relationship. Does Jeannie carry culpability for Craig's infidelity?
This could be a hornets nest, but I'm giving it a kick anyway!

message 10: by Leanne (new)

Leanne Hunt (leannehunt) Good question, John! The way I see it, sex is a big part of Valerie's relationship with Craig, which is why she makes the connection between it and Craig's need for an affair. For Jeannie, the marriage is built on far more than sex, which is why the possibility of Craig's straying doesn't cross her mind. However, after Jeannie finds out about Craig's infidelity, that changes. Vicky, you are spot on when you say that Jeannie would feel guilty, although she would probably dig up every possible inadequacy within herself she could find — including being too interested in his work and too hospitable towards friends and family. We only really see Jeannie questioning superficial things, such as her age and appearance, but then that is because she has learnt to suppress her need for self-fulfilment. Karen's gift of a day at the spa is intended to provide her with an opportunity to access parts of herself which she has been neglecting.

message 11: by John (new)

John Mountford (KillMandela) | 735 comments So, is this going the way of stereotypical affairs:
1) Wife cries.
2) Husband squirms.
3) Wife gets angry.
4) Husband comes to his senses.
5) Wife forgives.
6) Husband wins.
7) Back to 1)

We'll find out in week 4, I expect.

message 12: by John (new)

John Mountford (KillMandela) | 735 comments Some observations at the end of week two:

Craig returns home after his evening with Valerie and is angry with Jeannie for not baking that week. Really?! He is a narcissist, and a perfect fit for Jeannie's renunciation of self as the goddess of home and family!

Why does Francis cover for Craig? I cannot come to grips with her motivation - was she hoping to be mistress no 2 at some stage?

So, Paul has never been on a date before Angelica, and he drives a Mini-Cooper: he must be gay, but doesn't realise it?

Karen warns her sister that Craig is cheating on her, and then she prepares to do some cheating herself with Walter.

We're half way, and I'm curious as to who is going to rise up and assume the role of a worthy protagonist in this story. Valerie and/or Jeannie (if she can balance self-sacrifice with self-love) are my best candidates!

Nice story, Leanne!

message 13: by Leanne (new)

Leanne Hunt (leannehunt) I'm glad you have questions, John! It would be a problem, as I see it, if the outcome were clear from the halfway point! I am influenced by Iris Murdoch, the late author/philosopher, who spoke about the element of "contingency" in fiction. There is assumption about how things will turn out, and then there is the unexpected happening, which sends all the pieces flying in new and unpredictable directions. Life is like that, and I really wanted to give each character the freedom to react to pressure in their own unique [and sometimes inexplicable] way.

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