Meeting: 13th April

Another great meeting last night. We had six stories to workshop, we started at 7pm and we were still going at nearly 10pm. Then we headed around to the pub afterwards where we continued to chat – mostly about dialogue if I remember rightly.

All six attendees submitted work to be discussed. The submissions were as follows:

  • Chris presented the first half of a comic-fantasy short story called Ralph. The story was funny and comparisons were drawn with the Discworld stories. Everyone liked the use of the old protagonist, although questions were raised about his suitability in a piece intended for a YA audience. The casual gayness was enjoyed by everyone, although questions were raised about the quantity of leather.
  • Guy presented a further chapter from his novel Night Work. Everyone enjoyed the piece. Several people commented on improvements over previous chapters. Questions were asked about Sam, his black collar, who he is – lots of questions! There was a general lack of popular support for the bubble-wrap-popping. Everyone likes Sacred Cowboys. Some people liked the BHS juxtaposition, others didn’t. Some people liked pool-table-as-weapon, others didn’t.
  • Craig presented another short story from his Caliphate world, called Incarnate. Everyone seemed to enjoy the story: the neat length and the imagery. There was a good old GEV debate and lots of feedback on the nitty-gritty phrasing of narrative. Questions were raised about body disposal.
  • Dave presented a short story called St. Dragon and the George. Several people found the use of language quite poetic. Some people liked the formatting, others didn’t. Some people liked the lightning, others didn’t. Everyone enjoyed it, though one person wanted more of a “ball-shot” (I’m going to pretend I don’t know what that means). There was a great observation that the omniscient voice in the story could actually imply that England herself was the protagonist.
  • Ben presented the first two chapters from a new novel called Mammals. Everyone enjoyed the Wotsits (in the story, not a snack). Everyone liked the Rhino. Everyone liked the Dolphin-Lemur sex scene – don’t deny it, you did! – and they found it very funny. The implied Rhino-Bat sex seemed to work less well. And I’m writing this blog post, so I’m going to mention King Julian: “Frow ‘im in the volcano!”
  • Rob presented a further chapter from his novel. Everyone enjoyed the characterisation and the additional background this gives us on Seth. Most people seemed to think the chapter would be better placed later on in the novel, as opposed to right at the beginning, and we discussed in medias res (see how pro we are!). Several people liked the ‘crack in the bubble’ – although a couple of people saw the mayor enjoying  the crack a-la-pipe. There was a hearty debate about including first and third person views in the same novel – conclusion: we’re probably not allowed (yet).

Next meeting should be 7pm Tuesday 3rd May. I’ll send out an email when I have this date confirmed.

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