Spooky, existential-terror critical reading is tonight!

Did you get a chance to read Stephen King’s The Jaunt yet? If you haven’t, there’s still (boundless, infinite, terrifying, insanity-inducing) time.

Tonight’s meet up (10/18) will be at 7pm at the restaurant of the Double Tree Suites downtown.

Here’s this week’s questions for you to mull over before the meet up:

1) What was the engine that drove this story for you? What kept you turning pages?

2) Where there any details that seemed perfect? That really stuck with you?

3) Did you get a sense of rising tension in the story? If so, what provided it?

4) The story uses an usual structure, shifting back and forth between the airport setting and the historical discovery of the jaunt–did you feel like this shift in perspective was successful? What did it add to the story?

5) How did you feel about the story’s “allocation of resources,” e.g. the amount of time spent on the history of the jaunt versus the amount of time spent on character development?

That’s it for my questions, but feel free to bring your own!

 Each month, the critical reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend.

The Doubletree Suites Hotel is located at 50 S Front St. Columbus 43215. The first six floors of the building are a parking garage, and the floor above that is marked “Lobby”—that’s where we’ll be. On that floor is a swanky pub/restaurant. You can park either in the aforementioned parking garage or at the meters right outside the building on Front St. If you’re parked in the garage, you don’t need to leave the building, simply find the elevator and take it up to the floor marked “Lobby.” If you’re on the street, go through the sliding doors and the elevators will be on your right.

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October Critical Reading

Happy October! To celebrate the spookiest month, we will be reading The Jaunt by the king of spooky–Stephen King. A blend of Sci-Fi and horror, this story is about a family in the future going on holiday to Mars. It is widely regarded as one of King’s best works of short fiction. It can be found in the short story collection Skeleton Crew or by searching online.

This month’s critical reading workshop will take place Wednesday October 18th at 7pm  at the restaurant of the Double Tree Suites Downtown.

Each month, the critical reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend.

The Doubletree Suites Hotel is located at 50 S Front St. Columbus 43215. The first six floors of the building are a parking garage, and the floor above that is marked “Lobby”—that’s where we’ll be. On that floor is a swanky pub/restaurant. You can park either in the aforementioned parking garage or at the meters right outside the building on Front St. If you’re parked in the garage, you don’t need to leave the building, simply find the elevator and take it up to the floor marked “Lobby.” If you’re on the street, go through the sliding doors and the elevators will be on your right.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at info@columbuscoop.org. See you there!

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September Critical Reading Questions

Tomorrow evening, Wednesday Sept. 13, at 7 PM we’ll be gathering at the restaurant of the Double Tree Suites Downtown to discuss T.C. Boyle’s Chicxulub.

This month we’re focusing on a story that makes heavy use of narrative technique. A story that relies particularly on a specific narrative form or style. In Chicxulub, the narrator is continually inserting anecdotes and information about meteorites while discussing an accident his daughter was involved in.

Questions to mull before the meetup:

  1. To me, the biggest question is, how does the author elevate this technique and save it from becoming a gimmick? Is it how often he uses the technique? The topic? (You can’t go wrong with space stuff and dinosaurs.)
  2. How did you feel about the timing of these narrative breaks? Do they help to add to the rising drama or take away from it? Do they act as a dramatic “cooling”?
  3. Did you ever feel more engaged in this secondary narrative than the primary?
  4. Did you ever feel like any other facets of the story suffered because the author/narrator spent so much time on the secondary narrative? For example, character development?

That’s it for my questions, but feel free to bring your own!

 Each month, the critical reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend.

The Doubletree Suites Hotel is located at 50 S Front St. Columbus 43215. The first six floors of the building are a parking garage, and the floor above that is marked “Lobby”—that’s where we’ll be. On that floor is a swanky pub/restaurant. You can park either in the aforementioned parking garage or at the meters right outside the building on Front St. If you’re parked in the garage, you don’t need to leave the building, simply find the elevator and take it up to the floor marked “Lobby.” If you’re on the street, go through the sliding doors and the elevators will be on your right.

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September Critical Reading

Do you like dinosaurs? Well an asteroid named Chicxulub certainly did not. Join us for this month’s Critical Reading Workshop where we’ll focus on T.C. Boyle’s Chicxulub, a story that explores annihilation through the heavy use of literary technique.  The full text of this story can be found here.

This month’s workshop will be Wednesday Sept. 13th at 7 pm at the restaurant of the Double Tree Suites Downtown.

Each month, the critical reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend.

The Doubletree Suites Hotel is located at 50 S Front St. Columbus 43215. The first six floors of the building are a parking garage, and the floor above that is marked “Lobby”—that’s where we’ll be. On that floor is a swanky pub/restaurant. You can park either in the aforementioned parking garage or at the meters right outside the building on Front St. If you’re parked in the garage, you don’t need to leave the building, simply find the elevator and take it up to the floor marked “Lobby.” If you’re on the street, go through the sliding doors and the elevators will be on your right.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at info@columbuscoop.org. See you there!

 

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August critical reading is tonight!

Tonight is the night! Come join us for a discussion of Nadine Gordimer’s City Lovers, depicting an interracial relationship in apartheid South Africa.

There are no official questions this week, so give it a second read (or third or forth) and bring your own!

We’ll be meeting tonight at 7pm at the restaurant of the Double Tree Suites Downtown.

Each month, the critical reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend.

The Doubletree Suites Hotel is located at 50 S Front St. Columbus 43215. The first six floors of the building are a parking garage, and the floor above that is marked “Lobby”—that’s where we’ll be. On that floor is a swanky pub/restaurant. You can park either in the aforementioned parking garage or at the meters right outside the building on Front St. If you’re parked in the garage, you don’t need to leave the building, simply find the elevator and take it up to the floor marked “Lobby.” If you’re on the street, go through the sliding doors and the elevators will be on your right.

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August critical reading

The end of summer is quickly approaching. Why not spend a few of these dwindling hours with us discussing complex, compelling literature? This month, the critical reading workshop will be reading Nadine Gordimer’s City Lovers, a story of an interracial love affair in apartheid South Africa. An audio recording of this story can be found here.

We’ll be meeting Wednesday August 16th at 19th at 7pm at the restaurant of the Double Tree Suites Downtown.

Each month, the critical reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend.

The Doubletree Suites Hotel is located at 50 S Front St. Columbus 43215. The first six floors of the building are a parking garage, and the floor above that is marked “Lobby”—that’s where we’ll be. On that floor is a swanky pub/restaurant. You can park either in the aforementioned parking garage or at the meters right outside the building on Front St. If you’re parked in the garage, you don’t need to leave the building, simply find the elevator and take it up to the floor marked “Lobby.” If you’re on the street, go through the sliding doors and the elevators will be on your right.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@columbuscoop.org. See you there!

 

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Critical reading is tonight

Our critical reading workshop happens tonight! We’ll be discussing the merits of Deborah Eisenberg’s Some Other, Better Otto at the Columbus Capital Club at 7PM.

Some questions for you to mull over before the meet up:

  1. This is another story that isn’t really driven by a central plot–what was the driving force behind the story? Did you find that force to be compelling? If you had casually picked up this story, would you have finished it?
  2. Persnickety Otto is arguably one of the driving forces–in what ways is Otto developed? How is he made believable?
  3. This story incorporates a lot of characters. Some might say too many. What little tricks does the narrator use to keep them all straight for the reader? Did you find these to be effective? Do these secondary characters feel real? Or do they feel more like set pieces for Otto to interact with?
  4. In discussions of writing, much is made on the balance between “showing vs. telling”–do you feel like the story manages this balance well?
  5. Would you reread this story again? If so, why? What about it captured you?

That’s it for questions. Bring your thoughts on this piece and your own questions to tonight’s meeting.

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@columbuscoop.org. See you there!

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July Critical Reading

Do you find yourself contemplating family get togethers with dread? If so, then you’ll likely enjoy discussing Deborah Eisenberg’s Some Other, Better Otto with us at this month’s critical reading workshop. This story can be found in numerous short story collections.

We’ll be meeting July 19th at 7pm at the Capital Club.

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@columbuscoop.org. See you there!

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Critical reading has arrived!

Critical reading is tomorrow night! (I’m early this week.) Join us to discuss Painted Ocean, Painted Ship by Rebecca Makkai, a story of slain albatrosses, passive racism, and soiled shoes.

Also, my last blog post indicated that this story was about confusion. But I had only given the story a cursory glance before writing the post. It would be better to say that this story is about misperception (see what I did there?).

The story can be read online with a free account at jstor.org.

On to this month’s questions!

  1. This story is divided into two discrete parts—part A, which makes up the bulk of the story, and part B. Part A is built on the strength of the narrator and the reader’s empathy for her. What details make Alex believable? What about her self-destructive rampage? And her obsession with her image? How does the author keep the last two facets of the character from descending into farce?
  2. Part A relies heavily on allusions to other works that most people would not be familiar with—does this story only work for fine arts majors that are intimately familiar with pre-Raphaelite painters and the Lake Poets? How does the author clue us in on these works without bogging us down with too much information?

    (Rime of the Ancient Mariner can be found here and paintings/photos of Jane Morris can be found here.)

  3. The story’s structure very blatantly reflects its theme of misperception (you think that you’re reading a story about one thing, but then find out that you’re actually reading something completely different). How do you feel about this? Is it too “on the nose?” Too “assembled?” Or would you consider it creative and masterful artistry?
  4. Part B of the story isn’t so much a “twist” in the story’s plot as a rewriting of Part A. And Part B is written in such a way as to resist/deflect any critique asserting that the reader isn’t well prepared for Part B (“But where had the signs been? There had been no signs;”). But, regardless, how did part B affect you? Did you find it to be effective? Jarring? Did you feel cheated? Or did it deepen your emotional connection to the story?
  5. Part B pretty blatantly spells out the story’s thesis. How does the author get away with this? Does it add or detract from your immersion into this story?

That’s it for questions. Bring your thoughts on this piece and your own questions to tonight’s meeting.

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@columbuscoop.org. See you there!

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June critical reading

As always, the critical reading group will be getting together to discuss/inspect/dissect/pick apart an amazing short story. This month we will be reading Painted Ocean, Painted Ship by Rebecca Makkai. This story can be found in either the Best American Short Stories Anthology, V. 10 or online here at jstor by signing up for a free account.

We’ll be meeting Wed. June 21st at 7 pm at the Columbus Capital Club.

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@columbuscoop.org. See you there!

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