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alegremama
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Registered: ‎01-26-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

The characters presented in this novel are in a way related. They are drawn together by this "circle."

Their love for writing unites them in many ways.

As I read through the beginning chapters of this novel it was hard to grasp what was going on. As each character was presented, it was as if the lights were getting brighter...

 

I feel that as of this point in the novel there are just two that seem to dominate: Gillian and Nancy. The other characters compliment the story line.

Reading about the personal glimpses into each character's life helps to know them and what makes them be who they are.

Virginia is in a shadow and honestly; most of the characters are still in shadows.

 

Nancy fits in the group as an additional part that seems to be necessary...

Her invitation to lunch by Chris is just one more step in her being accepted in the group. Whether Chris just wants to know her better as a member of the group or as a future romantic interest is debatable. I believe his invitation is twofold.

 

I also believe that the work of each character is reflected not only by they not only write, but also in what we read about them throughout these chapters. Their style of writing is their personality, and how they live vividly reflects this.

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LarryOnLI
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

 

Sunltcloud wrote:

Isn't that a good thing?

 

LarryOnLI wrote:

I consider myself fairly well read and well educated.

 

I've been using the dictionary lookup feature on my NOOK more than any book I can remember reading.

 

 

 

 

 

I'm not saying it is a bad thing. I don't mind having to look up words I am not familiar with.

 

I do find myself doing it more than is the average for me with this book (which I enjoyed reading very much).

 

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dhaupt
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

 

 

LarryOnLI wrote:

 

Sunltcloud wrote:

Isn't that a good thing?

 

LarryOnLI wrote:

I consider myself fairly well read and well educated.

 

I've been using the dictionary lookup feature on my NOOK more than any book I can remember reading.

 

 

 

 

 

I'm not saying it is a bad thing. I don't mind having to look up words I am not familiar with.

 

I do find myself doing it more than is the average for me with this book (which I enjoyed reading very much).

 

 

I agree with both camps on this issue, yes it is ego fueled to use big words so that the common man has to keep old Mirriam Webster busy, but we also have to consider who we're dealing with here also, writers and not only writers but highly competitive people who are doing nothing but trying to out wordsmith each other.

 

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jabrkeKB
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎11-15-2008
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

Rachel-K wrote:

 

What effect does switching the perspective from chapter to chapter have on your reading? Which characters did you want to stay with longer? 
Is Nancy the "main" character for you? If you feel she is, what do we gain or lose by not sticking only with her perspective to this point in the novel?
Which characters do you take to immediately? Do you dislike anyone immediately?
Whose chapter is most surprising? How would you describe the home lives of each of our characters?

 

Please use the following questions to start talking about The Writing Circle, and feel free to post your own thoughts and questions for the group, too.

 

Please remember that the "Chapter" threads stick to the chapters under discussion, and try not to include any spoilers from the reading after Chris' first chapter. (If I can count, that's chapter 10.)  Enjoy!

 

 

What effect does switching the perspective from chapter to chapter have on your reading? Which characters did you want to stay with longer? 


Is Nancy the "main" character for you? If you feel she is, what do we gain or lose by not sticking only with her perspective to this point in the novel?


Which characters do you take to immediately? Do you dislike anyone immediately?


How would you describe the home lives of each of our characters?

 

Whose chapter is most surprising for you?

Switching perspective from chapter to chapter is fine with me. I have read other books that also use this technique.

I do feel that Nancy is the main character of the book, probably because she was introduced first and she is the newcomer to the writing circle. I don't feel we gain or lose anything by not sticking to her perspective.

Right now Nancy is my favorite and Gillian is my least favorite.

The most surprising chapter was Gillian's when she invited Adam to spend the night. I didn't expect that.

 

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thewanderingjew
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

For me, this book may require a reread to fully explore the characters and understand them. It could possibly be a different book the second time around.

There are so many characters and there are so many facts to consider about each one that I find I am not remembering as much as I thought. As I read the other posts and insights, I realize I have missed some important perceptions. I think there might be more to this book than meets the initial eye. There are so many character traits and flaws and so many interpersonal relationships to consider, while trying to interpret this novel, that it is becoming more interesting for me as I read further on.

 

Rachel-K wrote:

 

What effect does switching the perspective from chapter to chapter have on your reading? for you?

 

 

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tsazaj
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Registered: ‎05-07-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

What effect does switching the perspective from chapter to chapter have on your reading?

I like the changing perspective from chapter to chapter. It makes the book feel more about the circle as a whole rather than any one person's story.That being said, with so many characters perspectives being told, it's hard to connect with the story. Hopefully the threads will come together as the book unfolds.

 

Is Nancy the "main" character for you?

At first I thought it was going to be a book about Nancy but after the first few chapters I stopped feeling that way. It's more about the group as a whole.

 

Whose chapter is most surprising for you?

Chris's chapter was the most surprising. It made him a much more complex character than he seemed in the previous chapters.

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JuneC
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Registered: ‎12-01-2009
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

What effect does switching the perspective from chapter to chapter have on your reading? Which characters did you want to stay with longer? 

 

At the start I found  changing characters to be disconcerting because there were many people to "meet".  At one point a friend and I had to jot down names and relationships. What can I say?

Anyway, now well into the book of course it is not an issue and it's almost refreshing.  When I grow weary of Adam or Gillian I know soon they'll be gone for awhile. HA!

 

 


Is Nancy the "main" character for you? If you feel she is, what do we gain or lose by not sticking only with her perspective to this point in the novel?


It does feel as though Nancy is the main character,but I'm not certain as to why.  Her parts are not particularly longer or better than the others.  Perhaps because it starts with her? At this point  I don't feel anything is lost by not staying with her perspective.

It will be  interesting to see if that remains true.

 

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elaine_hf
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

JuneC, I was thinking, per your comment as to Nancy being the main character, she feels a little more stable, maybe more benign, than the other characters, so maybe her perspective is a little more balanced than the others. As it turns out later in the book, she becomes more central to the plot. And as foreshadowed in the beginning, we know that the story she's writing is important. But she's the only one who apparently hasn't slept with Bernard, she has a more simple home life, so it seems right that her voice provides a sort of backdrop.

‎"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." -Bokonon
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kimmie3
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

What effect does switching the perspective from chapter to chapter have on your reading?

 

It took me a chapter or to get used to the switching between characters.  It didn't bother me once I did.  I do wish we could spend a bit more time with Nancy though. 

Reader 2
scline
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-04-2010

Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

What effect does switching the perspective from chapter to chapter have on your reading? Which characters did you want to stay with longer?

 

I have enjoyed the different perspectives of each character/chapter; to me I am getting 7 mini-stories within one novel.

 

I really find myself on edge after each chapter wondering what is next in the characters story...I am curious about Paul. Why has this young student earned his own chapters? There has to be more to him and his story....I am patiently awaiting.


Is Nancy the "main" character for you? If you feel she is, what do we gain or lose by not sticking only with her perspective to this point in the novel?

 

No, Nancy is not the "main" character for me...although she is the new member being inducted into "The Writing Circle". I feel that all of these characters are the "main" characters, which is why I have enjoyed the individual chapters of each characters perspective.


Which characters do you take to immediately? Do you dislike anyone immediately?

 

I took to Virginia and Paul immediately...these two individuals are strong. Virginia who is the ex-wife of Bernard and what comes across as his infidelities with the other women within the group and continues to be strong and hold her own. Where as Paul has come to live with his father after being separated from a divorced family. Such will and courage from a child, relocating to a different state, school and new living unit.

 

Gillian was my immediate dislike.

 

 

Whose chapter is most surprising for you?

 

Gillian's trip to her "Cottage"; her encounter with Adam just sprung upon me.

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anne_dutch
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

 

elaine_hf wrote:

JuneC, I was thinking, per your comment as to Nancy being the main character, she feels a little more stable, maybe more benign, than the other characters, so maybe her perspective is a little more balanced than the others. As it turns out later in the book, she becomes more central to the plot. And as foreshadowed in the beginning, we know that the story she's writing is important. But she's the only one who apparently hasn't slept with Bernard, she has a more simple home life, so it seems right that her voice provides a sort of backdrop.

 

 

I completely agree with your assessment of Nancy as 'benign.' However, at this point that makes her less interesting and less important to me- she's too safe, too predictable, which makes her seem less real. Hopefully as I learn more about her she will develop some depth.

This could simply be the effect of switching back and forth, harder for me to feel that I know enough about each character to really pass judgment.

you can call me al.
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elaine_hf
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

Yes, I completely agree that Nancy is "too safe" and therefore less interesting. But I think that's what makes her voice a good selection for "moderator"; she's more of a voice of reason than the others, with Virginia a close second. Frankly, the only people I like, after it's all said and done, are Kim and Paul. 

 

That's not to say, at least for me, that the book isn't interesting. Adam seems to have grown a teeny bit by the end, which gives me hope for his character, and he and Chris are helpful and supportive of Nancy, which makes me like them a bit more than I thought I would. We don't know as much about Kim as I'd like, but she strikes me as a sort of victim in Gillian's wake. 

‎"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." -Bokonon
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Jasmyn9
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

I feel that Nancy seems to be main character at this point.  The story seems to be about Nancy joining the club, what Nancy thinks of everyone, and what everyone thinks of Nancy.  I agree with the assessment that she is a very safe character...almost too good/nice to seem real to me.  While this may make her a better moderator, there is a distance between her, the rest of the characters, and me.  I'm enjoying everyone in the story except Nancy.  I've even found myself liking Gillian, just because she is so easy to dislike.

 

Most of the characters seem to fall into very generic stereotypes for me.  It makes them easy for me to keep track of, but if they do not develop throughout the story they could easily become stale and uninteresting.

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SapphicKris
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

At this point in the book I'm left with a feeling of what's the point. I think others have stated that they feel like they are getting a picture of the individual characters but not much to join them together and I'd have to agree with that. So far I don't have any strong feelings, positive or negative, about any of the characters.

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bettymac
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

I like novels with different points of view. I am finding it hard to read this kind of book in the electronic form. I do not have a Nook so I am reading it on my computer. With a book like this one, I really need to be able to thumb back and reread a section or look at the Table of Contents again to help me get details and characters firmly established in my mind.

 

I think Paul is an interesting character. Maybe I identify with him because I taught high school English for 35 years.  Hearing his story enriches the total package for me because he is not a part of the writing circle. We hear about the offspring of other group members, but their stories don't seem as powerful as Paul's does.

 

I find Bernard annoying and pompous and Gillian despicable and condescending. A writer is doing a great job when the reader has strong emotional feelings about characters.

 

I look forward to reading the rest of the book and sharing ideas with all of you. I love these First Look opportunities

Betty

"Tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are" is true enough, but I'd know you better if you told me what you reread. ~François Mauriac
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insightful
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

Well, the switching of the characters I don't mind so much.  I like the idea of listening to each characters perspective and how they view the story line. I don't believe that there is just one main character.  I am enjoying the story so far, I like hearing from all the characters.  I have to say that every first look selection I have never been disappointed. 

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CharlieG31
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Registered: ‎01-06-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

 

What effect does switching the perspective from chapter to chapter have on your reading? Which characters did you want to stay with longer? 
Is Nancy the "main" character for you? If you feel she is, what do we gain or lose by not sticking only with her perspective to this point in the novel?
Which characters do you take to immediately? Do you dislike anyone immediately?
Whose chapter is most surprising? How would you describe the home lives of each of our characters?

What effect does switching the perspective from chapter to chapter have on your reading? Which characters did you want to stay with longer? 

Switching perspective from chapter to chapter at the beginning confused me since I did not know what was going on , however I think that the key point to focus the reader is the first meeting. In the first meeting you get the chance to meet the characters, kinda see what they are like and that clearly positions you in space and time so you no longer feel confused about the characters or about who is who and what they are doing. I wanted to stay longer with Paul I believe that with just the small chapter I read he gave so much insight into his life and Gillian's and it showed all the characters from an outsiders point of view which I thought was really good, from this two points you now have the chance to see Gillian from the inside and Gillian from the outside whihc is very interesting when you continue reading on , because you start to wonder how do other people look at the main characters.


Is Nancy the "main" character for you? If you feel she is, what do we gain or lose by not sticking only with her perspective to this point in the novel?

 I dont think Nancy is the main character, she will be a character that will bring a lot of changes into the group but from my point of view she is not the main character she is just the new one that in a way reflects" what all the characters have gone through. Nancy's roll in the novel has not yet been revealed however from my point of view it seems as if she is a character that will make everyone change their perspectives on life and everything they are doing.


Which characters do you take to immediately? Do you dislike anyone immediately?

I take immediately to Gillian and Paul I was fascinated by the way the family works, I think that this will turn into an interesting point. I dont dislike anyone until now.

 

Whose chapter is most surprising for you?

The most surprising chapter for me was Gillians , I never expected for her to agree on having sex with Adam , I thought she was a very mature woman and would not be involved on any relations with someone else , apparently she is a different kind of person and does not feel bound to a relationship which will clearly bring problems with Jerry and Paul.

 

How would you describe the home lives of each of our characters?

I believe all of the characters have something in common and that is that they all now lead normal suburban life's with nothing surprising or exciting which from my point of view is also one of the reasons why the Leopardi club was created. All of the characters have fallen to live normal lifes with their spouses or alone but they have an internal need to have something exciting in their lives , something that will make them shine, a moment that will disengage them from their nomal lives and take them to a new situation and that is the reason why all decide to go to the writing circle.

"The questions are more essential than the answers."
Karl Theodor Jaspers

Reader 2
jkonye
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Registered: ‎05-03-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

This is my first book club, so bear with me....:smileyindifferent:

I was trying to stay on schedule with the postings, got behind, and then ended up finishing the book on a long car trip this weekend. So now I'll play catch up :smileyhappy:

 

What effect does switching the perspective from chapter to chapter have on your reading? Which characters did you want to stay with longer? 

 

Is Nancy the "main" character for you? If you feel she is, what do we gain or lose by not sticking only with her perspective to this point in the novel?


Which characters do you take to immediately? Do you dislike anyone immediately?


How would you describe the home lives of each of our characters?

 

Whose chapter is most surprising for you?

 

Right now, I'm not sure about where the book is headed. I feel like it's all over the place and very disjointed. I haven't been able take to any of the characters and I don't feel like Nancy is the main character either.

 I'm going to stick with it and read it through but I'm not sure at this point (end of Chapter 10) if I'm going to enjoy it or not.

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norcalsheri
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Registered: ‎04-29-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

What effect does switching the perspective from chapter to chapter have on your reading? Which characters did you want to stay with longer? 

 

     I liked learning more about each character. Would like to learn more about Adam.

 


Is Nancy the "main" character for you? If you feel she is, what do we gain or lose by not sticking only with her perspective to this point in the novel?

 

     She seems like the main character only because there are more chapters about her. We lose not learning more about each character's personal lives.


Which characters do you take to immediately? Do you dislike anyone immediately?

 

     Took to Nancy. Didn't dislike anyone immediately.


How would you describe the home lives of each of our characters?

 

    They all live very different lives.

 

Whose chapter is most surprising for you?

 

     The chapter with Gillian and Adam at the cottage.

Reader 2
taraisarockstar
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Registered: ‎02-16-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Early Chapters (through Chris's first chapter)

What effect does switching the perspective from chapter to chapter have on your reading?

With the amount of characters in the book, it forces the author to write a lot of character description as opposed to focusing on the action.

 

Which characters did you want to stay with longer?

Paul. I usually wanted to know more about him. To his own family he seems defiant but I notice the good in him.

 

Is Nancy the "main" character for you? If you feel she is, what do we gain or lose by not sticking only with her perspective to this point in the novel?

I think there is a strong focus on Nancy but there are several characters we are still getting to know…I feel we lose out on some of the intensity of the story because there is so much character description.

 

 

Which characters do you take to immediately? Do you dislike anyone immediately?

I like Paul because I am interested to know more about him. Something makes me question Bernard, so I have an uneasy feeling about him…

 


How would you describe the home lives of each of our characters?

Unsettled.  

Whose chapter is most surprising for you?

Gillian’s chapter is surprising to me but I doubt it would be that surprising Nancy, she has strong feelings about Gillian.