Meeting: 13th August

Hello again everyone! Well, we had a busy meeting last night with eleven people attending and six submissions to discuss. I’d like to welcome three new members: Rob, Chris and Colin. You all gave great feedback and we’re looking forward to reading your work at future meetings.

Meeting: 13th August

We did well to get through four submissions last night with so many people attending. That would have left two pieces to carry over to next month but Damien explained that he won’t be along for a while so he instead decided to take copies of notes from people. That leaves one piece, from Eric, to carry forward to next month. His work will be discussed before we look at any others.

Before we start with the reviews of the critiques I’d like to remind everyone about house rule #11. This doesn’t apply to anyone who attended last night’s meeting, but if you submit a piece of writing into DropBox and you subsequently fail to attend two meetings in a row then I’m afraid your work will be removed without critique. We’re certainly flexible about members having real-world issues that might mean you occasionally turn up late or miss a meeting, but we can’t keep asking other members to keep reading and re-reading the same piece of work over and over again. Please consider your fellow writers. If you’re not sure whether you can commit to a meeting, don’t worry, just leave submitting your work for another month or two when you’re more certain that you will be able to attend.

OK, nagging over! On with the critiques . . .

  • Luke presented the second part of his short story Ape God. I think pretty much everyone enjoyed the action in this piece as well as the end reveal with the figure in the mural. A few people weren’t so sure about the distant viewpoint and past perfect tense which lacked immediacy. Some repetition, doubt over metal mouldings being available at this tech level. Plasma cannons are always great fun.
  • Len presented the first chapter from his novel The Zoanz. Several people enjoyed the first paragraph in this piece as well as the descriptions of the lab. Questions were raised about the pacing: that it was a little too quick and that society would take longer to break down. Further questions raised about blouse unbuttoning and Jane’s possibly archetypal characterisation. Name change requested for the main characters Peter and Jane.
  • Craig presented the tenth chapter from his novel Canton Station: Spindle Dreams. Several members enjoyed this piece more than previous chapters, especially the exploding bird and the information trade-off between Jiao and Ada. Questions were raised about formatting CO2/CO₂, repetition, Jiao’s hanging about for the first few chapters. Why a magpie? Because they like to pinch stuff.
  • James presented two short stories called The Job Interview and Pig Face Porcelain & Clockwork Too. Everyone found the first story extremely funny and certainly rather disturbing. A few people wondered whether the secretary should substitute the mother; though others felt that the mother’s dialogue was a highlight. Some great lines in both pieces. Formatting needs work and there some errant lower capitalised i’s. Several people found the second story quite sad. Mentions of: literary / flash / prose poetry / vignette.

After the meeting we eventually ended up in the Common Bar as the Marble was a little too busy. I actually think that the seating is better in Common as it’s easier to huddle around a table as a single group. What do you all think?

Next meeting: Wednesday 10th September

Please note that MadLab will be closed for refurbishment for next month’s meeting and we will be meeting at an alternate venue. Watch this space or our Facebook group for details.

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