Meeting: 8th January

So here we are, another meeting, another year! Difficult to believe that our writing group was established back in 2010. The fact that we’re still going strong, after all this time, is quite an achievement.

Meeting: 8th January

First of all I’d like to apologise for the temperature at last night’s meeting. It was freezing! Next month, someone give me a nudge and I’ll turn on the heater right from the start. Alternatively, Eric has offered to bring along some logs. I suggest we get a fire going, huddle up, toast some marshmallows and we can finish up the evening with a quick round of Ging Gang Goolie.

Anyway, next up, I’d like to welcome Anjel who joined us for the first time last night. You gave some great critiquing advice and we’re looking forward to reading your work at future meetings.

Before I start, I know I’ve already nagged about this on our Facebook group as well as in the meeting itself, but I just want to remind everyone to get submissions into DropBox one week in advance of each meeting as per The Rules. This month’s meeting was about as early as it gets after New Year — first day of the year was a Wednesday — which probably meant the meeting crept up on everyone rather more quickly than usual. So we had a few late submissions. If you submit late you run the risk of members not having the time to read your work. If in doubt, leave it to the following meeting; better yet, get it submitted a few days earlier.

OK, enough with the tut-tutting and on with the critiques. We had six members attending last night’s meeting with four pieces of writing to discuss — all novel chapters again. In case you’re wondering, our writers do work on short stories as well as novels, it just seems that we’re all working on novels right now . . .

  • Owen presented the first chapter of his novel Mycelium Running. Several members enjoyed the close point of view and vivid imagery. Comments from members included the mention of stream of consciousness and that the piece felt more literary than genre. A couple of members wondered when the speculative fiction element would appear. Constructive criticism given over spelling and punctuation. Some confusion over what was going on. Several members enjoyed the repetition / train analogies.
  • Eric presented the 12th chapter of his novel Autumn Man. I think pretty much everyone enjoyed the atmospheric opening to this chapter. Several people also liked the priest character, though a couple wondered about his alcoholism and/or denomination. A few questions were asked about the level of melodrama and the glamour scene at the end. Difference of opinion over Police coffin procedure.
  • Craig presented the sixth chapter from his novel Canton Station. Comparisons were made (again) with that Gibson chap and Blade Runner. Several members liked Matas and many enjoyed the scene in the coffee shop. Further intrigue over Jiao’s true nature, though there were suggestions to remove the ‘female AI’ phrase. A few too many pronouns and apologies.
  • Graeme presented the 21st chapter from his novel A Kill in the Morning. Plenty of compliments for the action and atmosphere in this chapter, especially the initial scene looking down to the pool. Lots of praise for Molly and Kitty as individual characters, though a few questions were raised about their interaction with each other. A couple of members mentioned Indiana Jones. Excitement over Nazi UFOs.

We finished the meeting a little earlier than usual, perhaps spurred on by the thought of the beckoning warmth of the Marble Bar just around the corner. Thanks again to everyone for attending.

Next month’s meeting will be on Wednesday 12th February. See you there!

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