Meeting: 12th December

First of all I’d like to welcome John Parkinson who joined us for the first time last night. You gave excellent feedback and we’re looking forward to reading some of your work at future meetings.

Change of venue

We had a change of venue at last night’s meeting so we ended up a couple of doors down from MadLab at the recently opened HacMan offices. Huddled around a tub of chocolates, we critiqued four pieces as follows:

  • Graeme presented the eighth chapter from his novel A Kill in the Morning. Continuing the theme from previous meetings, compliments were paid regards the quality of writing and level of research. Several members said they enjoyed the pacing, though questions were raised about the initial dialogue scene and whether a little more movement was required. Everyone loved Molly, especially her non-archetypal personality, though a couple of people wanted the accent dialing down a bit. Discussion on Hoodlums for Hire.
  • Craig presented the first half of a short story called Spindle Pickers. Several members enjoyed the quick start, getting straight in with the action. Also the world building, the setting and the effects of the zero-g. There was some obvious confusion caused by the pistol and questions were raised about the number of -ing words starting sentences. A slight difference of opinion on the barge. Further discussion on Hoodlums for Hire. Potential new sub-genre: sci-fu (time/date stamped here for austerity in case it catches on!).
  • James presented two flash fiction pieces: Corpsicle A La Mode as well as Nog and the Bing. Everyone enjoyed Corpsicle, especially the ending. Questions were raised about whether a punchline might be needed for every line after the initial ‘oh this is a recipe’ reveal. Comparisons were made, of course, between Nog and the Bing and Dr Seuss. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this rhyming piece, with just a couple of questions raised about the meter in some places and whether the theme needed a little reinforcement.
  • Eric presented the second part of his story Indian Summer. Members enjoyed the pacing, the characterisation of the female protagonist and the dialogue. Questions were asked about some slightly well-trodden phrases and whether the father was rather too stereotypical. Difference of opinion over bars of doubt. Some confusion caused with a couple of members assuming that this was the final part, but the author reveals that there’s a third (and perhaps even a fourth) to come.

We finished a little after nine and made our way around the corner to enjoy a drink and a chat. I don’t know whose idea it was to start handing out those chocolates (ah yes, that’ll be me) but we then enjoyed the company of a rather well-oiled old chap who helped finish off the rest of the chocolates whilst regaling us with some Beautiful South. A night to remember.

Have a great Christmas and we’ll see you again in the New Year!

Next meeting: Wednesday 9th January

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