First of all I’d like to welcome Emma Audsley who joined us for the first time last night. We enjoyed your feedback we’re looking forward to seeing some of your own work in the future. Apologies from Rebecca who couldn’t make last night, we would still like to critique your work at a future meeting, perhaps in April?
With the delay to the start of the meeting we met beforehand at the Mini Marble, just around the corner from MadLab, for a drink and a chat. At 8pm we moved to MadLab. Summary of the evening’s critiques are as follows:
- Rob presented the sixth chapter from his post-apocalyptic novel – this may have a name now, but he’s still not sure. There was a slight difference of opinion over the descriptionof the zombie malaise infecting the narrator’s fellow commuters. But everyone enjoyed the ranting! Some people liked the repetition, others didn’t. Everyone liked not liking the dislikeable narrator. We all appreciated Rob’s thong and stockings.
- Ben presented the short story Our Lady of the Immaculate Tarmac. A few people demanded the story be rewritten as a play (the author states this isn’t going to happen). There was a discussion on sub-genre: lawnpunk versus motorwaypunk. There was a little confusion over the numerous characters and the Five Blocks. Everyone is looking forward to the final piece.
- Dave presented the second part of his short story The WinterSouth Gates
of Quetoriale Ke. Everyone felt the protagonist’s fear. There was a little tittering about metal undergarments and FleshBots. Everyone liked the setting. The poetic use of words was excellent, though it seemed to wander off on its own now and then. Several people preferred the original name for the city ‘Quetoriale Ke’ (or some derivative) as opposed to the new name ‘Phyen’.
- Shirley presented the short story Motherly Love. Everyone was drawn in and thoroughly enjoyed the piece. The narration and dialogue were excellent, though the accent and apostrophes in the dialogue might need some editing for authenticity. There was a little concern over the young boy being chucked out of the house as readily as he was (personally, I think he had it coming to him the little brat!). The open ending was much discussed – frustration was felt by some; whilst others loved it.
- Guy presented the fifth chapter from his novel Night Work. The coat confused everyone and there were several outbursts of geometric loathing (“Damn that triangle!”). Several people compared the Leviathan, most positively, with Lovecraft.
- Hakim presented the short story Wolf Dreams. Everyone enjoyed the lyrical use of language. Several people found it confusing…although it was easily understood (if that makes sense). Rochester as a wolf worked very well. And the werewolf sex was great.
Due to the lack of time, critiques for Craig‘s short story Refugees will be put back to the April meetings. Whilst this was probably the plan all along, and we’re moving to twice-monthly meetings to cope for this exact eventuality, please consider planning your critiques before each meeting. Several people make notes beforehand, a few bullet points is a good idea. This is an excellent way to avoid repetition and umm’ing or ah’ing your way through your critique. You could also keep an eye on the time, however I don’t want people to feel rushed.
However, given all the last minute changes to the start time, we did very well to give six solid critiques during the evening. Great work! Afterwards, we popped back to the Mini Marble for a quick drink and a little more chat before we all headed home.
Next meetings are:
- Tuesday 5th April
- Wednesday 13th April
Please submit your work into the DropBox a week in advance of each meeting. If you’re submitting for the 13th April meeting instead of the 5th please make this clear in the filename of the document you submit into the DropBox.
We Need Your Artwork!
I’ve updated the banner on the website with a little creation of mine. Top marks for anyone who can guess what it is. Please have a look in the Resources folder in DropBox and suggest which banner you would like to see next month. Dave has recently added several pictures in there (they still need resizing to 770×200 but I can do this with PhotoShop if you have trouble).
We’re planning on rotating the banner every month, so why not have a go at creating some artwork yourself? The image needs to be 770×200 pixels and should have a vaguely speculative theme.