First of all I’d like to welcome Luke Shelbourn who joined us for the first time last night. You gave some excellent feedback and we’re looking forward to reading some of your work at future meetings.
With a return to our regular venue at MabLab, we had a great turnout with five members attending and four pieces of work critiqued, as follows:
- Eric presented the third installment in his long short story (novella?) called Indian Summer. Members enjoyed various different aspects of this piece including the quality of the writing, the descriptions of the emotions from the characters (especially the female protagonist) and the deterioration of the garden matching that of Tom. A couple of members wondered whether too much of the mystery had been revealed and questions were asked about the medical side of things (bones not healing). Much theorising regards the finale.
- Pat presented the third chapter from her novel Foundation for Lonely Souls. Everyone enjoyed the car crash / near-miss scene, with a couple of members suggesting that this pivotal scene should be expanded. Ditto with expanding the restaurant scene. A couple of members wondered if the sexy smiling at the start of the chapter lends an unintended feminine voice to the male protagonist. Compliments paid regarding the dialogue, the cushion throwing scene with Jon and Naomi, as well as the pacing. First film reference of the night goes to Ordinary People.
- Craig presented the second half of his short story Spindle Pickers. Several members stated that they enjoyed the fight scene and that the overall piece was very easy to read. Questions were raised about the revelation that Mr Xuan was a ghost and the anti-climactic description of the jump. Weeds estimated at a mere 150 (possibly insufficient). We of course have a film reference featuring the legendary Mr Miyagi. Plus a mention of Silent Running.
- Graeme presented the 9th chapter from his novel A Kill in the Morning. Several members were obviously very happy to see the return of Kitty in this chapter and they enjoyed her interaction with evil villain Heydrich. Questions were asked about the changing viewpoints in this chapter, whether the Kitty sections deserved to be in a chapter of their own. Interesting to see inside Leo’s head. And I have another film reference, this time Bright Lights, Big City, though I’m struggling to remember the relevance with a post-war alternate history story?
As usual we headed around to the pub afterwards where I remember talking about Duotrope, the current state of the short story format and then we had the inevitable slide into chatting about TV and films: notably Hobbit, Prometheus, Galactica, Dollhouse, Pacific Rim, Elysium and Life of Pi (but there were many more).
Next meeting: Wednesday 13th February (corrected, sorry!)
See you there!