Meeting: 12th October

Thanks to everyone who attended last night’s meeting. We had eight people attending, all with pieces of work submitted for discussion. Chocolate Brazil nut cookies by Guy.

Before I get started with the usual summary, the meeting overran again last night and at the pub afterwards we discussed whether we should cut the number of stories. So let’s try seven next month and see how we get on. I know a few people voiced concerns over members (especially those pesky novel writers) quickly submitting their pieces after each meeting to beat the queue. Well, whether this happens or not, they can’t submit multiple pieces at once so anyone that misses out one month will have first dibs for the following month. I think it’ll manage itself, but let’s see how we get on.

Anyway, on with the show . . .

  • Guy presented a short story called When The Wind Changed. Everyone enjoyed this funny story, with a few people noting the serious metaphors for multiculturalism. A couple of people noted some possible PoV shenanigans and a hop-skip-jump with the Geoff / Daisy transition. The author admitted (and it was later verified) that sine-waving squirrels may have been nabbed by that China bloke.
  • Kate presented another piece from her novel Body of Dwaal. Several people enjoyed the analogous walls, as well as the continued emphasis on culture and atmosphere. Also, hammocks in sync. A few questions were asked about the fight scene: whether it was a little formal and the use of ‘oof’. Lots of debate on teasing out the relationship between the two male characters.
  • Donald presented a short piece based in Glorantha (part of a larger story or a novel) called Charmanda. Several people enjoyed that first paragraph where the action starts–a couple of people said they would like to see this part of the story stand on its own feet, without the heavy exposition. A couple of people mentioned Pokémon and the author admitted to being unaware of the name clash (lucky him, my kids drive me crackers over them!).
  • Chris presented a short story called Not Long, Forever. Everyone seemed to enjoy the loop-the-loop time travel. Several people complimented the quality of narrative voice, though questions were asked about the reason for the looping in the first place and why the protagonist was so constrained. A few insanity metaphor theories. More TV/film references: Source Code, Groundhog Day, Quantum Leap.
  • Dave presented a collection of three short pieces of fiction called That’ll Be The Deus. Several people commented on the excellent use of language and poetic narrative form–especially the third piece. Entrails: rather too many for most people (though personally I can never get enough). Lots of giddy discussion over flying cars and God.
  • Craig presented the third chapter from his novel Seven Souls. Several people enjoyed the horrific stabbing (you sick lot), though most felt that the back-story needed a trim. Repetition identified for: ‘robes’, ‘retch’ and ‘knocks’. Questions on Victorian story structure and Chinese anonymity. Repetition identified for . . . hang on, I think I said that already.
  • Eric presented a short story called I Am The Doorway. Several people said ‘Very Lovecraftian‘. Also, that they enjoyed this piece. Questions were asked about the slightly convenient appearance of the physics tutor and perhaps also with Annie. Plenty of debate over language and whether the modern setting was fitting. Someone mentioned ‘I Am The Doorway’ by ‘that Stephen King bloke who nicks everything’.
  • Rob presented the twelfth chapter from his post-apocalyptic novel. Several people mentioned that the first person voice was an improvement. As we were running a little low on time we quickly discussed the use of vernacular/accents and Zara’s deteriorating dialogue as she becomes more drunk. This conversation continued, rather suitably, at the pub afterwards. Conclusion: not much, I think further hands-on research is required . . .

One last piece of advice: be careful not to mistake someone else’s green tea with what you think is your own black tea . . .

It doesn’t actually look that bad in the photo.

Next meeting: Wednesday 9th November.

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