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Chapter Three, Fixing Vincent


As a juror, Meg Tartaglia is reminded of her son, Vincent.

  29 total reviews 
Comment by
creator3
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The writing and descriptions are impressive. The story is very believable and appears to reflect a real experience and real courtroom events. It seems as if the author had a need to wrap this chapter up in a hurry, though. In an actual courtroom, there would be a great deal more going on and much more discussion relative to the facts and details presented by both sides and a lengthy process would play out between the opening statements and the judge's dismissal. In fact, if a jury were seated, I believe the jurors would be rendering a decision after debating the evidence and the judge would make a statement sometime later in a separate hearing, where the defendant would learn his fate. I suspect this could have been developed much more in this chapter, regardless of what came before or after.


 Comment Written 17-Dec-2019


Comment by
JudyE
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I can't find Chapter 2 to read so some of my questions might have been answered in that chapter.

a stark, emerald green shamrock - emerald-green (hyphenate)

And, looking at the horrored expressions around her - I don't think 'horrored' is a word. Did you mean 'horrified'?

he saw Thomas Donnelly attempting to climb into the open driver's side door - maybe 'driver's open side door

then sell it all quickly so that Tommy's friend -- Corey Alonzo - would the defence attorney be allowed to mention the friend's name?

Is this next section a flash-back? Tommy/Vincent?

Congratulations on the win too. :)

Cheers
Judy




 Comment Written 23-Jun-2019



reply by the author on 23-Jun-2019
    Thanks, Judy.
    The reason you couldn't find chapter 2 is because I posted chapter 3 for the contest, instead, because it had more meat. Chapter 2 was just Meg getting chosen for Jury Service and some of the other jurors.

    Every time there is italicized writing, that's Meg having a flashback of when Vincent was before a judge.

reply by JudyE on 23-Jun-2019
    Okay, thanks for the explanation. It makes more sense now.
Comment by
Artasylum
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Hey Rachelle...
establishing the scene is very vivid and draws the reader in...

great job on this... yours, di

love

The courtroom is large but windowless, with wide mahogany door frames that complement the polished wood of the jury box, attorneys' tables, and judge's bench. Crown moldings accentuate the twelve-foot-high ceilings and herald the pride and craftsmanship of bygone eras. Serious work is carried out here, their silent majesty proclaims. There is no room for mirth.


 Comment Written 20-Jun-2019



reply by the author on 20-Jun-2019
    Thank you, di. xo
Comment by
Mystic Angel 7777
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This is very well written but I do wish the font had been a bit larger as against the grey ground smaller fonts tend to want to blend in with it. The way you handle the courtroom protocol is flawless making for a genuine sense of realism and the general somber tone of trial by jury. Good luck in the contest and thank you very much for sharing it.


 Comment Written 20-Jun-2019



reply by the author on 20-Jun-2019
    Thanks, Mystic Angel7777. I think, originally, the font was larger, but then when I did some editing to other parts, the font seemed different to me. I'm reticent to go back again for fear it will change the other parts I edited. But for next time, I'll be more careful to have everything done correctly so that it won't need any editing!!

    I appreciate all your kind and encouraging words about the courtroom scene. xo
Comment by
rama devi
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 Rank:  149
 
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Stellar writing, dear friend. Your work is certainly a notch above most Fanstory offerings. Sorry I missed the first two. Busy editing for clients and only visiting FS a few minutes here and there in between. I hope to read this story in full eventually (if you're sending it at a later stage?)

This captures the court scene quite precisely and realistically. It also delivers both sides so the reader can weight it out for themselves...

Excellent character development via dialog, descriptive narrative and apt action tags.

Excellent pacing and sentence mechanics (even the long ones).

I love the smattering of poetic touches I find in your prose. For example, the personification here is imaginative:


Serious work is carried out here, their silent majesty proclaims. There is no room for mirth.

And I applaud your imaginative and original similes, like this one:


"Good morning," he says, with a voice so deep Meg can actually feel it rumble in her chest cavity, idling like an oversized race car.



A few spag and minor (optional) suggestions:


The judge is a serious-faced man(,) who(m) Meg guesses to be in his middle-sixties.

*
Assault With A(a) Deadly Weapon, and Attempted Carjacking.

*
Judge Alderman addresses the prosecutor. "Mr. Deutsch?"

Maybe add 'with a nod'?

Judge Alderman addresses the prosecutor with a nod. "Mr. Deutsch?"

*
"The State will prove(,) beyond a reasonable doubt(,) that after he rendered Steven Cosgrove unconscious, the defendant, Thomas Donnelly, exited the Cosgroves' home and headed south, to 3123 Ballard Avenue -- right next door -- where Allen and Stephanie Wong were returning home with their children from a family reunion". (move period inside quotes)
(Also, no spaces before and after dashes)


*GOOD PLACE FOR ANOTHER SIMILE:
The prosecutor pauses again, and the severity of the couples' impending nightmare takes root in the pit of Meg's stomach and climbs upward toward her heart.

*

"The State will prove(,) beyond a reasonable doubt, with testimony from witnesses,


*She is an attractive woman(,) who(m) Meg guesses to be in her late forties.

*She is farm-girl(-)sturdy

*
Laurie Rennert points to her client(,) whose head remains motionless, his chin still tucked back toward his throat.

*spacing typo:
you are the person in the group people will rememb er seeing.


Very nice closing note:
Meg looks again at Tommy, and this time he gives her a shy, endearing smile.


I hope to be able to read more installments...will try...but pretty swamped these days (in a good way).


Love,
rd


 Comment Written 19-Jun-2019



reply by the author on 20-Jun-2019
    Wow, Rama! You did a ton of work here for me! Thank you VERY much; I'll get right on these.

reply by rama devi on 20-Jun-2019
    :-)))
Comment by
estory
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I think you did a good job with bringing this courtroom scene to life, through the statements of the attorneys, which comes through as quite emotionless and very business like. the descriptions of people seen through the eyes of the girl in the crowd give us a peek at their secret, hidden selves, and possible motives. the mechanics of the case are such that the jurors could go either way. It seems like the prosecutor could be right, but the defense is also plausible. So the air of mystery and suspense you create in the scene is valid, and drag us on to wonder how this will come out. estory


 Comment Written 19-Jun-2019



reply by the author on 19-Jun-2019
    Wow! You totally 'get' each and every nuance I was hoping to convey. I feel like I just won the writer lottery with this review, e story, because WHO that writes doesn't do so to be understood. Thank you for making my day. xo
Comment by
2019 Novelist of the Year
Ulla
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Hi Rachelle, this is an interesting read and having a law degree it obviously appealed to me. It's well written and I wish you the best in the contest. All best. Ulla:)))


 Comment Written 19-Jun-2019



reply by the author on 19-Jun-2019
    Thanks, Ulla!!! Coming from an attorney, this is the quintessential complimentary review!! xo
Comment by
Debra White
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Hi Rachelle :)
I'm so glad you continued with this story. I've really enjoyed reading this chapter. (I'd wondered where chapter 2 got to, I looked in your portfolio and couldn't find it and then I noticed the bit at the top of this chapter explaining what chapter 2 had been about!)
Good luck in the contest. This is a gripping and intriguing story and I look forward to seeing where it goes.
Best wishes as always, Debra :) x


 Comment Written 19-Jun-2019



reply by the author on 19-Jun-2019
    Thank you, Debra. This contest allowed for "Chapter 2 or any chapter," and I decided that chapter three was much more compelling.

    I appreciate your feedback and encouragement very much. xo
Comment by
Michele Harber
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The best compliment I can offer you, Rachelle, is that this doesn't read as contest entry or a writing submission to a website but, rather, as a chapter from any good book by a reputable author that I've ever read. In other words, reading this without benefit of FanStory, I would say that it were written by a professional author and not a hobbyist.

Despite that, there are still a few areas where I think I can help to make improvements. I'll save these for when we get down to brass tacks next month, but there is one that I want to bring up now, in particular, while this is being presented as a stand-alone chapter and not in the context of the book as a whole. Despite your changing font size and adding italics, I would still do more to delineate the flashbacks. My suggestion is either a left-side or double-sided indent. Especially where you go back to the present tense in the last line, it reads as though it's a continuation of what came immediately before, causing a readjustment to mentally get back to the present tense. Similarly, of one hadn't read the first chapter you'd posted, it might not be immediately identifiable that you're going into a flashback. An indent will solve the problem without otherwise being an interference.

Overall, this is an amazing entry, and I wish you luck in the contestl


 Comment Written 18-Jun-2019



reply by the author on 19-Jun-2019
    Thank you very much for all your kind words and, of course, for your editing suggestions, as well. I will get right on that change!

reply by Michele Harber on 19-Jun-2019
    Excellent. Your writing skills are amazing, Rachelle!
Comment by
WalkerMan
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Given Meg's continual flashbacks about Vincent, you well capture her anxiety as a juror in a case that so reminds her of him and his tendency to get into trouble -- often because of his associations.

Your descriptions of the "majesty" of the courtroom, the stately judge, the imposing Prosecutor (earringless "doppelganger for Mr. Clean"), the Defense Attorney ("farm-girl sturdy" with "book smarts as well as street smarts"), and the frightened Defendant bring them all to life in the reader's mind.

The Prosecutor's manner is realistic as he summarizes his case as though it were unquestionable, eliciting sympathy from the jurors for the victims of the alleged crime.

Then the Defense Attorney reveals that a better suspect exists -- a drug addict needing money for his next fix, who happens to be a "lifelong friend" of the Defendant, and even has somewhat similar appearance. Also, the victims could not identify her client, Tommy, as the perpetrator. In fact, she claims, Tommy had rejected participation in the crime and gone home beforehand. Of course, corroboration of that will be needed; but she did succeed in casting doubt on the Prosecutor's case.

By this time, Meg is fully involved in a flashback to Vincent's experience before a judge, who chose to be stern but lenient.

Thus, the reader's curiosity about what will happen next is cranked up to the max by the time the chapter ends. If I were reading this in a book, I would not put it down at this moment. Superb.


 Comment Written 18-Jun-2019



reply by the author on 18-Jun-2019
    Ohhh, magical words to read! Thank you from the heart, Mike. This review means the world to me...in LOTS of ways, as you know! xo

reply by WalkerMan on 18-Jun-2019
    You are most welcome, Rachelle. This is a story type I had not read before, and I find it interesting as well as well written. -- Mike
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