Meeting: 12th November

Thanks to everyone who attended last night’s meeting. We sometimes see a drop-off in numbers around this time of year so it was great to see you all. Dedication to the cause!

Meeting: 12th November

We should be back at MadLab for next month’s meeting but keep an eye on the Facebook group for details.

Update 26th November: we will be at Federation House again for the December and January meetings.

Before we get started with the critiques, I’ve started a new thread on the Facebook group to suggest the following change to House Rule #11:

“11. There’s a 4000-word limitation for each submitted piece. Anything longer than this should be split into smaller sections and submitted across subsequent meetings. If you have several short pieces of work, flash fiction for example, feel free to submit two or three of these together in the same Word document, with each piece no more than 1000 words.”

We had six submissions for last night’s meeting and with eleven people attending we did well to get through critiques for four pieces. It seems that one of the two remaining pieces has now been withdrawn from DropBox so that leaves just a single submission, a novel chapter from Eric, to carry over to next month’s meeting. On with the critiques!

  • Luke presented the third and final part of his short story Ape God. Plenty of compliments for the quality of the writing in this piece, though a few people suggested that there might be some occasionally purple prose. Difference of opinion over the final genocide with a few suggestions for alternatives. Many enjoyed the melancholic tone. Questions over rank and insubordination.
  • James presented his short story Incesticon. Plenty of good ideas in this piece though a few people wondered if there were perhaps too many. A number of people were left confused and wondering what was going on or whether it read too much like an essay or dissertation. Formatting problems possibly stripped out a useful explanation. Clever. Funny footnotes.
  • Rob presented the first chapter from his novel Proving. Plenty of compliments for the action in this piece, though a few people wondered whether this should have come earlier: i.e. remove the first section completely. Further compliments for the Shadows setting. Some possible technical issues over viewpoint, potential overuse of adverbs, names in dialogue. A few people mentioned YA fiction specifically Grimdark. Questions over pistols versus knives. Calls for further chapters to be submitted.
  • Chris presented three short pieces of fiction: Protocol 3-17, Upgrade and Bingo. Most people weren’t sure about the third meta-fictional piece Bingo: they thought they’d seen it before and it didn’t seem to be spec-fic. Fairly unanimous appreciation for the second piece Upgrade: the working conceit, the pace and punchline. For the longest piece, Protocol 3-17, I think most people enjoyed the premise with comparisons made to Blade Runner. A number of people thought that the numbers in the names gave the game away. Questions asked over the changing tense and flashbacks. Good voice and pace.

After the meeting we popped over to Common where there was much discussion on computer games.

Next month’s meeting should really, probably, definitely, almost certainly be back at MadLab (unless we hear otherwise): Wednesday 10th December

Update 26th November: we will be at Federation House again for the December and January meetings.

See you there!

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