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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