Another great meeting last night with nine people attending. I’d like to welcome Katherine — we’re looking forward to reading your steampunk stories at future meetings.
Apologies from Shakeel who messaged me the day beforehand (which I then promptly forgot — sorry!) to say that he wouldn’t be able to make this month’s meeting. His submission will be kept in Dropbox to discuss at the next meeting.
Quick reminder to members to please arrive on time if possible. We started about 20 minutes late last night. Saying that, with nine of us attending, we still managed to work through five pieces, though we did finish rather later than usual at around 10pm.
So on with the critiques…
- Eric presented the first chapter from his novel Demophobia. Several people enjoyed the characterisation of the protagonist even though he perhaps wasn’t that likeable as an individual. Most people saw the car crash coming and there were calls to make it less obvious. More focus required on his OCD.
- James presented the start of a new novel called The Hankerin. Plenty of opinions on the use of strong vernacular in this piece with suggestions to tone it down a little and that the author probably has his work cut out. Further suggestions to add paragraph breaks and dialogue quotes. Strong voice. Few too many shits. Some great one-liners.
- Craig presented the 9th chapter from his novel Canton Station — now Canton Station: Spindle Dreams. Several people enjoyed this short chapter, the tight writing and Isaac’s cold demeanour. A couple of members wondered if the chapter added much or not, and whether there was enough conflict. Much discussion over the “tech porn”. Also, it’s doughnut you donut.
- Luke presented the start of a new story called Ape God. Several people enjoyed the writing and the descriptions in this piece, though there were a few calls to provide a better description of the indigenous alien species. Split opinion over the narrative voice: some found it too passive whilst others enjoyed its dry, academic tone. Calls for more conflict. Comparisons made with Star Trek first contact stories.
- Graeme presented the 7th chapter from his novel Angel in Amber. Plenty of compliments for the writing and research in this piece. Several members said that they particularly enjoyed the opening scene. A number of people weren’t sure about Amber’s motivations, especially with the lead into the off-camera sex scene at the end. Lots of action. Gripping.
As already mentioned above, Shakeel wasn’t able to attend so we will be looking at his submission first at the next meeting before we proceed to looking at others for the month.
I still haven’t received any information on the planned refurbishment work at MadLab but it’s all in hand. An alternate venue, if required, will be provided. Check our Facebook group nearer the time for more information.
After last night’s meeting we headed around to the Marble Bar for a chat on various topics that included Ingress, publishing agents and MA courses. There was also some Jenga.
Next meeting: Wednesday 13th August
See you all there!