E24 – Scene Analysis with Monica Cooke (video, show notes, transcript)

Show Notes

In this episode, V.E. Griffith and Miss Catherine M.H. do a scene analysis of a romance scene by Monica Cooke!

Find Monica: https://www.mwcooke.com

Support us on Patreon at https://patreon.com/revisionwizards

The Revision Wizards are at https://www.revisionwizards.com
V.E. Griffith’s website: https://www.vegriffith.com
Miss Catherine M.H.’s website: https://www.scribes-pen.com

Transcript at: https://revisionwizards.com/?p=2318

The scene and edits so you can read them! http://revisionwizards.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/2023-04-20-E021-Lily-Ann-Fouts.zip


Miss Catherine M.H. 00:00:01
Welcome to the Revision Wizards podcast. I’m miss Katherine MH And I’m joined by my witch doctor co host, Ve Griffith. This is episode 24, and this time we’re joined by author Monica Cook with a scene analysis from her forthcoming romance novel. This episode is sponsored by our amazing patrons who help us to build our podcasts so we can help you make your editing and revision process better.

V.E. Griffith 00:00:26
Our patrons help us to pay for transcripts of our shows available on our website and for better audio recording quality. So listening is a little easier on your ears if you’d be willing to support the show financially for as little as a buck an episode. We have a bunch of neat benefits that you can take advantage of, including a special podcast feed with extra content and personal episodes inside access as we collaborate on Avella, the opportunity to ask questions for Ask the Editor episodes, professional editing, and more. You can find out everything you need to know@patreon.com. Revisionwizards. And with that, here we go. All right, so we’re here with a new guest for a scene analysis. If you would please tell us your name and your pronouns.

Monica Cooke 00:01:11
Oh, it’s Monica and she her.

V.E. Griffith 00:01:14
Okay, awesome. So we’re doing a scene analysis of your scene that you sent us. It was about 2600 words, which was excellent. Tell us what we would need to know coming in. Where is this in your writing? Is this a novel? Is this a short story? What is this?

Monica Cooke 00:01:31
It’s a novel. Contemporary romance novel. Grumpy boss. Forced proximity. This is chapter two. It’s a dual POV. Maxine is the female main character, and then Nate is the male main character. And chapter one is just Maxine coming to the ship. She took a last minute job for the summer, and she’s just kind of meeting her roommates and kind of learning the ropes.

V.E. Griffith 00:01:59
Okay, that works. Nice. All right. And we don’t see Maxine in this scene, is that correct?

Monica Cooke 00:01:59
That’s correct.

V.E. Griffith 00:01:59

Monica Cooke 00:02:08
But Nate is mentioned in hers. So, like, the last thing you see in her scene is they’re talking about the first officer, which is Nate, and then it goes into his POV.

V.E. Griffith 00:02:18
Okay, that’s fine. And is she also written first person?

Monica Cooke 00:02:22

V.E. Griffith 00:02:23
So as always, Ms. Catherine, I’m going to punish you by asking you to start with the characters.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:02:29
Sure thing. I’m getting used to this. All right, so we have two main ones for this chapter. I thought we had like of course, we had Noel, we had the captain. There’s Harry, who we don’t hear of him or from there. So we have Nate, and I want to say it’s Riker. Riker.

Monica Cooke 00:02:57
Yes. Riker.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:03:00
Okay. Riker.

V.E. Griffith 00:03:01

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:03:01
I got it right the first time with Nate’s. So his voice is very consistent. I thought it matched his inner with his outer. And it does help that we’re first person, so we’re getting a lot more of what his voice should sound like, his emotional state is definitely frustrated and stressed out. And his physical is interesting because he locks it away, especially when he’s in front of the crew and stuff, where he’s out there and he’s like, yes, today is great. We’re launching. We’re doing this. And then around those who he’s closest to, he lets that frustration out so they can see that he’s stressed and they can see that he’s frustrated. So it does help to show how Nate reacts to other people. And then I had for my gosh riker. Riker, riker.

Monica Cooke 00:04:00

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:04:01
Okay, I’ll get this eventually. So, for Riker, it’s the why. That’s what it is, people. So you can already like him just by the way he’s talking. He seems like that best friend, that close coworker, and you’ve already got that connection with the way he acts and his voice. His emotional state is kind of laid back, but you can tell he’s very loyal. But his physical is the interesting one. So he’s pretending to be a lot more laid back, but you can see that he’s tensing up at stuff, but he knows that his friend is way too tense, so he needs to stay the laid back one. So I really liked having that difference between the two characters. So you see one who will not show the emotion if they’re in front of other people, and then who will show it in front of his close people. And the friend who’s like, I’m really stressed out, too, but if I tell you I’m stressed out, that’ll just add to you. So I need to zip it. Which, of course, best friends always do. So that’s what I really thought of the two characters. Like I said, we had the captain, though. We we didn’t get much of the captain right now. For me to be like, I don’t really have anything really on him. And then Harry, we never even heard from him. We just know he exists on the other end of a phone. And then there is Noel, but I feel like I would need more of her than just she’s kind of a brat.

Monica Cooke 00:05:42

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:05:45
So, VE, back over to you.

V.E. Griffith 00:05:48
Okay. I found that all of the characters, it was real clear nate was angry and upset and frustrated by Isla’s, the CEO’s behavior that his ex was basically trying to screw around with him. But I felt like the rest of the characters didn’t, they all seemed to speak the same way. They had what Jeff Elkins would call mono-mouth, which is something that I do. They don’t have mannerisms. They all speak in college-educated English. It’s that kind of setup. The dialogue tags helped with that, so I could tell who was speaking. That wasn’t a big deal. But I felt like, for example, riker might have had some kind of an accent that would be consistent with somebody who’d spent his life on a boat. You don’t get to be chief engineer just by being the ex of the girlfriend or the son of the captain. So he would have some experience and that might come through in the way that he speaks. What do you think, Monica?

Monica Cooke 00:07:03
Yes. No, I totally understand what you’re saying, and I’m trying to think about if I ever do that with their back and forth. And I think I probably do it more in later chapters, but it’s something I could definitely pull in earlier.

V.E. Griffith 00:07:19
All right. For protagonist wants External Pursuits, I thought this was excellent. It’s easy to see. Nate wants the cruise to go well. He wants his job performance to go well. He wants the other ship’s launch to go well. And it’s real clear that it’s not going to. That is something that it’s well understood by the reader by the end of the scene that things have seriously gone sideways here. External Pursuits was very simple for me, but it was excellent.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:07:49
And, of course, to be the weird one, because him and I can never agree. I saw something different. I saw it as he wants freedom. And I have marked this as good for now because you can really tell he wants out from under his ex. So his ex is the big controlling factor, and he wants his freedom. The sea equals freedom, but his ex equals not freedom. And until he can get out from under her control or buy her out from the company, as he’s yelling at Harry about he wants his freedom, so that’s what I saw as his want.

V.E. Griffith 00:08:52
For his internal desires, I went with closer to what Catherine had for External desires. He wants to be in control. He feels out of control and jerked around, which is seemingly beyond what you could expect from a CEO with a different leadership style than what he would have. I wonder how long he’s been working at this company that he supposedly co founded, that he’s working on a boat and he’s not seeing any kind of command or any kind of executive position. This strikes me very much as sort of a Steve Wozniak at Apple kind of thing where Woz just wanted to be an engineer and he did not want to be involved in the day to day running of the company like Steve Jobs did. I rated this section between fair and good. It was a little unclear to me if I was right in terms of his internal desire. I would say I would guess it was clear enough, but it didn’t seem necessarily quite as obvious as I might have liked. So I’m a little back and forth on this one. So it’s clear that he did not acquire his need.

Monica Cooke 00:09:53

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:09:56
Well, for mine, slightly different, and I rated it as good. And he needs not that he understands it yet. Some self confidence like that is what he is going for. And I like the way that this is building. So right now, he knows he wants the freedom, but he’s relying on the thoughts and ideas of everybody else. So if I can beat this person, then I’m good enough. And I feel like his need is that self confidence, and it’ll start to pull through, which will then help him with his external want, which is the freedom. So once his self confidence starts to build, which I’m assuming it will, through the book, then we’ll start to see that freedom go. And since now I’m understanding this is a romance, you’ll also start to see where he can let go of. So there’s also another question. So I thought the name was Ila, because I’ve known several people with it spelt like that. Is it Ila or is it Isla?

Monica Cooke 00:11:06
I think it’s Ila, but in my head, I always say Isla.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:11:11
Okay. So either way. So for me, it was that self confidence. Once that starts to grow, and like I said, I’m assuming that’s where the book is going. So as a reader, I can already see it like, OOH, his confidence is going to start to grow, because after an abusive relationship, that confidence is real low when you start to build it back up. So that’s where I was going with it.

V.E. Griffith 00:11:37
Okay. Yeah. Now, knowing that this is chapter two and this is a romance, it seems to make more sense that we’re going to eventually be able to cut ourself off from ayla Isla, whatever her name might be. This is one of those moments when you should never judge somebody who knows what a word means, but mispronounces it. It’s because they learned it by reading. That makes some more sense to me.

Monica Cooke 00:12:03
Yes. And like she said, it is his character arc. So at the end, he has this big confrontation with Isla ayla and finally gets what he was after. So happy ending.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:12:14

V.E. Griffith 00:12:14
There we go.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:12:15

Monica Cooke 00:12:15

V.E. Griffith 00:12:16
Okay, Ms. Catherine, what about external pursuits for the antagonist?

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:12:21
All right, so the antagonist is definitely Isla, and I have this as excellent. And it’s revenge. So the want is revenge. She likes the power, and he’s already taken that step to move away from that, and she wants to keep reminding him of, no, you don’t get to decide to leave. So I feel like this is more it’s on the abusive side, definitely, but it’s also that pettiness of, oh, you left me. Well, that was your mistake. And so it was really felt that revenge piece, and you were just waiting for each section to just go wrong for this guy.

Monica Cooke 00:13:07
Poor Nate.

V.E. Griffith 00:13:08
Yeah. Poor Nate. And again, Ms. Catherine and I have something of a contrast here. I rated it between underdeveloped and fair. The reason that I did was that I feel like a CEO would have a certain sense of what’s good for the company and if she’s disciplined. Now, at the time I wrote this, I didn’t know that it was a romance. I realized from the scene that she was an ex, but I’m the sort of person and this is my own bias that would try very hard to be professional to an ex and not just sort of jam it to him her. Every time I, you know, every time I have an interaction. I might be petty in situations where it doesn’t matter, but this seems like the launch of a ship or the launch of two ships or getting the company off the ground is something that would matter. And so I would want it to go well, just as in my own self interest. Instead of making him first officer, I might have made him somebody who swabs the decks to put him in his place in a situation where he both gets screwed over and the company does well. So that’s kind of where, if she’s the CEO, why not just fire him from day to day operations? She might not be able to get him out of his ownership position, but she can certainly make his life miserable in ways that don’t impact the company negatively. That made it unclear to me what her motivation is.

Monica Cooke 00:14:53
Got it.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:14:54
It’s revenge.

Monica Cooke 00:14:55

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:14:57
Women are delightful.

V.E. Griffith 00:15:01
Well, and to be fair, I don’t read a lot of romance. And again, I didn’t know that this was a romance coming in. I assume that the jilted lover or the vengeful ex is a trope that I’m just not aware of.

Monica Cooke 00:15:20
Yes. And her goal is to get him back. She still wants to marry him and live happily ever after, so she wants to keep him close. And when she comes into the book later, I show that. But maybe I need to hint at it closer to the start so that.

V.E. Griffith 00:15:38
People know one sentence from dad could do it. You know, she still loves you.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:15:42

Monica Cooke 00:15:43
Yes, exactly.

V.E. Griffith 00:15:45
Ms. Catherine antagonist internal desires.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:15:48
So control her, which I put is excellent. That falls into the revenge category. It’s control. She doesn’t like when people don’t do what she wants. And I feel like it wouldn’t matter if the company went down, it would be pinned on him with the way that she is controlling it, so it wouldn’t look bad in her lighting, it would only look bad in his. So if you don’t like the way things are going, then come back to me. If not, this gets blamed on you, not me. I still look good. So it’s very much that statement where women are very spiteful, and she’s in that role, and he knows it. He’s stuck in it, and she’s done a very good job at the isolating factor that people who like to control have done. So I rated this, once again, as excellent because I thought I was like, yes, this is a controlling ditch.

Monica Cooke 00:16:54
Oh, yeah, okay.

V.E. Griffith 00:16:56
And I went completely the other direction for reasons that we’ve talked about. I rated it underdeveloped because I felt like her external needs were undefined. Her internal need was also undefined. But again, that’s just my blindness to the genre, which is something the reader would know going in. They would know it’s a romance. Monica, what do you think?

Monica Cooke 00:17:15
No, I think Catherine nailed it. That’s what I was going for. That she wanted to keep him under her thumb until he did what she wanted, and until then, it’s going to be painful.

V.E. Griffith 00:17:25
Okay. Yeah. Then you did it. Well, it’s common.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:17:30
Takes a woman to spot the spitefulness.

V.E. Griffith 00:17:33
Yeah. She doesn’t think like a man, which is probably, on balance, a good thing, at least in terms of the story. Ms. Catherine. What about conflict?

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:17:46
So, conflict. I marked this one between fair and good, and I have the conflict as the phones don’t work. So the moment the phones go down, that is the conflict for me, because before that, you see the status quo. This has been two years of, God, I have to deal with all of this that she has been causing. And now, because they’re on the ship and everything is going smoothly, you’re just waiting for something, and it’s the phones. So for me, you expected something to go wrong. And so the readers are expecting this. So there’s nothing wrong with it being in that, like, fair, good. You’re expecting it to increase now. So this is the bare minimum. You see what he normally goes through. You’re seeing it start for this. And now we’re expecting it to keep ticking upward and upward and upward as she tries to do more control.

V.E. Griffith 00:18:43
So I went completely the other direction again.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:18:45

V.E. Griffith 00:18:47
I did rate the conflict here is good. For me, the conflict was her rejection of his request for an assistant, and that pushes him into his anger and into his need to respond to her, because she’s going to make his life so miserable with having to juggle all of his responsibilities. The way I would say it is, he’s going to have more balls than juggle. It’s obvious that he was going to have to do something and respond to this stupidity. Part of that was his call to the lawyer to try and figure out how to buy her out or how to get rid of her or something. I thought the presentation was was excellent. The general conflict here was good, and I didn’t have I didn’t have a lot of trouble with it going on from what I found the conflict to be.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:19:38
There can be more than one conflict. It’s okay. We never see eye to eye.

Monica Cooke 00:19:43

V.E. Griffith 00:19:44
Yeah. This is one reason why doing this podcast is fun.

Monica Cooke 00:19:49
Yes. When I was writing it, I use the pressure test, little rubric. And so that was my inciting incident, was the assistant, and then the progressive complications, and then the turning point was the phone’s not working, and that’s where everything just kind of fell apart.

V.E. Griffith 00:20:04
Yeah, that makes sense. And sometimes it is true. We’ve talked about on the podcast before your inciting incident doesn’t necessarily have to have anything really to do with your conflict. We’ve seen those kinds of setups before where something happens, but the real problem is something else.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:20:19
So I guess that would pull me to my choice since I’m different than his. So my choice, I mark this as fair, but that’s okay. And I’ll get into why, but the choice I have is to be open and honest about the situation or make excuses. So when he’s talking to the captain, it’s that moment of, I could just make an excuse, or I can be honest about this and start asking for some help. And that’s what he does. So you show that he can be in a healthy relationship, because after a bit, I figured out that this is romance, and I’m like, OOH. So those are key things that you would want to have happening. You want that healthy relationship, and he’s trying to offer that to those who are close around him. So for me, that choice shows his character, where he’s like, hey, I’m willing to reach a handout and be like, hey, I am not doing okay. This is not going well. This is two years she’s running it into the ground. So that was the choice for me, was to be open and honest and ask for some help.

V.E. Griffith 00:21:32
I thought this was somewhere between fair and good. The choice is obviously going to be difficult for me. It wasn’t clear to me what his choices were. He started to move toward trying to push her out with the lawyer. One thing that he doesn’t ever do is consider walking away. And that makes me wonder if I understand. Now, from a story perspective, that’s kind of necessary. But it made me think of that maybe he’s trapped in the sunk Cost fallacy where he’s put so much into this that he doesn’t want to walk away, even though that’s really what he should do is just cut his losses and go. And it’s something that might occur to him even if he rejects the notion. He doesn’t seem to have a clear way forward. He doesn’t really determine what his next action should be. And so it feels like he doesn’t make a firm choice in this scene.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:22:23
Okay, I know.

Monica Cooke 00:22:27
Let me think about this. Yeah, I’m going to have to go back and look. You’re probably right, like an external actionable choice, because I kind of just leave it not on a cliffhanger, but I’m just like, well, things got worse. There was no real wrapping it up. So that’s a great point.

V.E. Griffith 00:22:49
I can see that there is a larger conflict and choice brewing in the story as a whole. And remember that I’m just reading this little snapshot, so that can sometimes make it hard for me, but that’s where I went with it. So in this scene, yes, in the story, I think you’re probably a good enough writer that you nailed it on the story level, hopefully.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:23:23
See, I disagree with them, but that’s what makes us great. I saw a pretty big consequence from this, from this chapter, and so for me, I marked it as excellent because I was like, yes to this consequence. And it’s that his father, who’s the captain, which you didn’t quite see coming, brushes him off and leaves him hanging. And that was like he opens up, is trying to be honest, and he gets brushed off, which you don’t expect from a parent. But if we’re looking at what Ayla does, she has done a great job at isolating him. So she has everybody around him right in her pocket. And it’s clear that even when he’s trying and he’s really hoping that they will take this, like, hey, I am reaching out and asking somebody for help that it doesn’t happen. And you’re like, oh, I felt that. And so I really liked that part because it really shows how much control she has over his situations and that he’s left sitting there being like, well, great. I’ve just got to figure this out again, so nobody’s helping me. And it keeps him in that cycle where he just feels completely trapped, lost, and he’s running full steam at all of these problems because she just keeps adding to it so he can’t think of anything else. And having been in a situation like that, thought that was really well done, where that is the situation that you are lost. The people who you want helping you out just brush you off. And especially if you add in that line of, well, she still loves you, then that’s even more of a home run hit where it’s like, but I don’t love her. Why won’t you listen to me? You are my parent. You’re the captain. We should be in this together. I am wondering a bit as to why he needs a promotion since he owns part of the business, but we’ll get into that later. I thought for this consequence, it was done well, because it really shows her power and his situation for the book that he has to overcome. But I’m sure Ve will disagree.

V.E. Griffith 00:25:52
Well, yes and no. I see the power differential. I see that he’s going to need to overcome it somehow. I rated the consequence just on the basis of this scene as underdeveloped as a result of his not being able to make a choice because he didn’t really have a choice in this chapter. The way I read it, it seems like he pushes off his choice to a later chapter. He’s still gathering information. What can I do about buying her out? What can I do about now that she screwed me over with the assistant? What can I do? He doesn’t come up with any choices as a consequence of that. He doesn’t have any consequences. So that’s the direction that I went, but I feel like, again, on the story level, this is going to wind up being well developed. I think you certainly have the conflict starting here that is going to drive his story pretty well.

Monica Cooke 00:26:44
Awesome. Yay. And no, if this matters, I also set him up as a foil to the female main character. So she’s super soft spoken, whereas he tells people what he thinks, and then she’s really, really supportive and loving, which is kind of what he is missing with the relationships he has in his life right now, so they can be together forever.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:27:12

V.E. Griffith 00:27:13
There you go. Okay, moving on to the mechanics section. Ms. Catherine. Showing versus telling.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:27:20
You always throw this one at me first. I marked this as fair, and I think there could be more in this chapter. There’s a lot of telling when they’re talking. There’s a few spots that I do highlight for you where I’m like, hey, this is strictly telling. Let’s show the emotion. There’s more details of the ship. Like, I know what his desk is, I know that he’s wearing a watch, I know there’s salt all over the watch, but I have no idea what he looks like. So besides the fact that he wears a watch and that his eyes are now dead, there’s nothing else that tells me what he looks like. And as a romance, I kind of want to know how hot he is. I thought that it could use a little bit more where you just need a little bit of description to go off of stuff like he’s unbuttoning that coat, he’s pulling it off his broad shoulders. Something like he’s throwing it in the corner. Any of those little bits where I feel like it would help describe the character because he is one of the main ones and I have no idea what he looks like.

Monica Cooke 00:28:40
Yes. No, that’s such a great point. And I have critique partners, and I’ve done some beta readers, and every time I try to put something like that in there, they’re always like, he wouldn’t say that from his POV. He wouldn’t think of his hair as dark or his shoulders as broad. This doesn’t read naturally, I guess, but then the opposite when I don’t mention any of that. You have no idea what he looks like. So I guess do you guys have any advice for how to get it in there without people being like, he would never think that.

V.E. Griffith 00:29:18
I’m not sure necessarily that you would want to go toward his unless he has some sort of unless sort of he has some sort of negative connotation in his mind about his appearance. People consistently tell me that I’m handsome, and I have absolutely no sense of that myself. And so he may feel that way about himself. So he could look at his ugly, dark hair, he could look at his coat in the mirror and make sure that he’s not rumpled.

Monica Cooke 00:29:48
Oh, that’s a good idea.

V.E. Griffith 00:29:50

Monica Cooke 00:29:51
Because he would care about his appearance, that he looked professional.

V.E. Griffith 00:29:55
Yes, he would. He would care about that. And so he makes sure that his gold buttons on his coat are correct. He makes sure that his collar is turned up, but he doesn’t like his hair.

Monica Cooke 00:30:10
Yeah, no, I see what you’re saying.

V.E. Griffith 00:30:12
Or you could talk about how his shoulders are broad enough that he had his coat specially tailored.

Monica Cooke 00:30:21

V.E. Griffith 00:30:24

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:30:24
You could do something, too, where you are comparing him to his photo. So he’s looking at his photo and he’s like, man, I wish my hair was something like that again. Or you can use that comparison since he’s already doing that with oh, look, my eyes looked alive.

Monica Cooke 00:30:46

V.E. Griffith 00:30:48
I thought this section was excellent. Honestly, the character voice was clear to me. It was clear that Nate was angry with his situation. I was paying more attention to Nate’s emotion rather than his physical appearance. And that is something I don’t care what dudes look like. He he could in in retrospect, having heard Catherine’s explanation about it, I thought, yeah, he probably is just a blank face or a blank, non face. He doesn’t even have a nose. But that didn’t make a whole lot of difference to me. For anybody who’s going to be a major character, you might insert his Nate’s observation of, like, one physical trait. The captain is old and grizzled. The chief engineer has a scar on his cheek from some accident, that kind of thing. You don’t have to do a full description of their entire body. You don’t want to get into that. But just something so that they stick out for us as different from some handsome, windswept captain who stands on the bridge and is whatever.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:32:04
And I’m sure we’ll get more in description when it’s her point of view and she’s seeing him, but at the same point, something would be great. We know that his nose gets sunburnt, so is he, like, super freckly? Was this something that happens all the time, that he’s just like, yeah, whatever, I got sunburnt, or is like, he pissed that he got a sunburn. He’s like, I forgot my sunscreen, I’m so pale. What was I thinking? So just like, little bits where we just get a little something.

V.E. Griffith 00:32:35
Okay, what about passive voice, Catherine?

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:32:39
All right, so for me, passive voice rated fair to good. I thought it was okay and that it wasn’t really bad, even though I know Ve would disagree. But I felt like it showed the situation he was in. It was very controlled situation, so it’s happening to him. He doesn’t really get to do much, and the stuff he is doing, those sections sped up a little bit. Wanting to throw that phone across the room or banging it down on the table, those were things that he was actively doing, and the rest was very passive around. Him. That being said, I only know that it was romance because I’ve heard you’re a romance writer. So at this point, reading the chapter, I actually had no clue what the genre was. So for a bit I thought it was Sci-Fi. And we were talking about spaceships and I was like, oh, I love Sci-Fi. And I was like, oh, we’re launching. And then I was like cruise ships. No. Okay. So I marked that and I’m sure I would know by looking at the cover or having read the blurb what genre this would have been, but I was like, I’m not sure if it’s like contemporary, if it’s like space, if we’re really doing a romance. So I was hoping it wasn’t going to be like the X was going to come back and that was who the romance would be. So I’m glad it’s not. But yeah. So from that little bit, I was like, I don’t quite know the genre. And the passive voice, like I said, felt right because things were happening to him. Ve probably has a different thing, though.

V.E. Griffith 00:34:25
I actually marked it good. I felt like it was a good it went well. There was some passive voice in places where he was remembering the way things used to be, or he was explaining the setup of the situation, isla’s relationship to him, that kind of thing. Overall, I felt like it was pretty good because it’s a very dialogue heavy scene and because it’s written in first person that lends to writing an active voice. And I thought that that was pretty good. I went through and I counted the wases and there were more of them in dialogue than there were in the rest of the scene. That makes me happy. So, you know, I my my number one, you know, craft tip is always if you can if you can eliminate the words was, were, and had from your writing vocabulary. When you’re doing prose, you’ll go a long way toward eliminating passive voice. But I thought that you did really well with that. I didn’t see large passages that were passive and I thought it was pretty good.

Monica Cooke 00:35:37
Awesome. Thank you. Well, it’s good to hear.

V.E. Griffith 00:35:40
Okay. For sentence structure, I’m a line editor and that’s how I go through these things. Ms. Catherine is a developmental editor and that’s how she goes through these things. And that contrast serves us well both when we’re writing together and when we’re taking a look at other people’s stuff. I found almost no structural errors or punctuation problems in this thing. The number one thing that I found was weirdly placed spaces and the reason that I noticed that and non breaking spaces, which can come from pasting your work into something like Autocrit and then copying it out. Apparently Autocrit puts in non breaking spaces, but I turn on non printing characters in Microsoft Word so I can see those. And I got rid of them for you, because that’s the kind of pedant that I am. But I didn’t have any trouble with the one thing I had trouble in terms of capitalization was the word captain. When you use it as a proper noun, Captain, she cannot take much more of this. That’s capitalized. When the captain is a jerk and he wants me to go overboard, that is lowercase. And you were inconsistent about that, so I fixed it. That was the only real issue that I had. Your command of English is excellent. Either that or it’s already been edited and somebody’s cleaned it up for you. But it was fine. I have absolutely no problem here.

Monica Cooke 00:37:11
That’s awesome. I run it through Pro writing aid. So maybe that’s where those spaces are coming from.

V.E. Griffith 00:37:19
Yeah, that could be. Ms. Catherine, what do you think?

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:37:22
Yeah, I get it. When I use Autocrit, it changes my whole spacing and everything. I rated this as good. There were a few sentences that I highlighted for you that would be better swapped that I noticed that seemed really and it was ironically with the body language. And so I was like, oh, that doesn’t work right. So I highlighted those and I was like, Just switch these two sentences. And other than that, it was great. So when he puts his feet up on the table and it’s just like an awkward like, he leans forward and then he takes his feet down, and I was like, that’s not comfortable at all. It’s like, nope. You would put your feet down and then lean forward. So I so I, like, highlight those sections for you to, like, swap them out or not swap them, but you know what I mean?

Monica Cooke 00:38:16
Yes. No, that sounds really uncomfortable, actually thinking about it. It’s just amazing what other people pick up. Like, I think one of the first highlights was he needs to hang the phone up. And I was like, oh, my gosh, you’re right. He never hung the phone up.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:38:30
Yeah, that was one of them. He never hung the phone up. He’s just walking with it.

Monica Cooke 00:38:35
How to do that?

V.E. Griffith 00:38:37
Baking cookies again?

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:38:40
Yeah, man. I read a book and they had these cookies in that oven for literally, like, six chapters. I was like, Yo, those cookies are burnt. And they never went back to the cookies, but they’re burnt.

Monica Cooke 00:38:55
That’s hilarious.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:38:56
But overall, I really liked it so far. I’m interested.

Monica Cooke 00:39:01

V.E. Griffith 00:39:03
Yeah, I’d be interested in taking a look at it genre wise. Romance has never been my thing, but maybe you could make a convert out of me. I don’t know. I do mostly Sci-Fi and fantasy sort of stuff, but I thought overall, this was a very good scene, and it’s something that, if I were reading, would certainly pull me into the next chapter. Since it’s chapter two, assuming I got past the first chapter, and if the first chapter is anything like this, it should be fine once I got into this, this would make me want to read chapter three.

Monica Cooke 00:39:35
Thank you. That’s really nice to hear. Oh, my goodness.

V.E. Griffith 00:39:38
So, any closing thoughts, Catherine?

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:39:40
No, I’m ready to see Isla go down. Like, I want to see it from the female point of view, where it’s like, OOH, you a bitch. You after my man. This ain’t happening. And I’m ready for that battle.

V.E. Griffith 00:39:56
Okay, Monica, where can we find you on the Internet? What would you like to plug?

Monica Cooke 00:39:59
Oh, you can find me at Mwcooke.com.

V.E. Griffith 00:40:06
All right, then we’ll go ahead and hang it up for the day. Thank everybody for listening, and we’ll see you all next time. Bye bye.

Monica Cooke 00:40:14
Thank you.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:40:15
Stay magical.

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