Meeting: 12th January

First of all I’d like to welcome Shirley Kernan who joined us for the first time last night. Hi Shirley! I’m especially looking forward to reading your steampunk work.

And what a busy evening: we had six stories critiqued by eight members – and we spent the first twenty minutes having a discussion about the group. But we still only overran by 15 minutes! This might be due to a new system we tried last night where we limit the time for feedback per story, skipping people if need be. With six stories we went for 15 minutes per story and I think we only skipped a couple of critiques. Hopefully this gave everyone a more equal slice of the feedback pie without rushing towards the end.

This was certainly one of the most successful meetings (if not the most successful) we’ve had so far.

Summary as follows:

  • Ben presented a chapter from his novel which he is hoping to rework as a short story. Naked Flamingo-Woman in Teen Shock Tease! There was much discussion on dialogue and the male teenage psyche (which seems fairly straight-forward, quite literally), as well as endings and beginnings.
  • Guy presented a further chapter from his Night Work novel. We discussed punctuation, the temporal mechanics of combat choreography and someone smartly identified the mythological golden prophylactic association (top marks).
  • Craig presented a packet of Garibaldi biscuits and a short paranormal-horror story. The biscuits were (quite rightly) shunned in favour of Guy’s home-made cookies; but there was positive feedback on characterisation and some gentle advice on journalism (don’t give up the day job).
  • John presented a short and classily classic sci-fi story. Someone cunningly identified the Philip K Dick association (more top marks) and there was further discussion about endings and beginnings
  • Rob presented a further chapter from his post-apocalyptic novel. Comparisons were made with I Am Legend, there was feedback on the use of tense and we nearly started talking about pizza (again).
  • Hakim presented a chapter from his novel which features free-running, Liverpool, masons and pentagrams. There was positive feedback on characterisation and setting, some more questions on temporal mechanics and Dan Brown was damned by most (if not all) for spoiling the fun.

Most of us popped along to the pub afterwards and we managed to spend another couple of hours talking about all sorts from post-apocalyptic pizza to sexuality to Twitter and websites. Oh and writing.

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