Welcome back! I hope you all had a relaxing holiday and you’re ready for another busy year. I’d like to welcome Sean who attended his first meeting last night; you gave great feedback with just a couple of days’ access to DropBox.
Apologies from Bronwyn. She wasn’t able to attend last night’s meeting due to the weather, so her submission — the first chapter from her novel ‘Green’ — will remain in DropBox to be critiqued at next month’s meeting.
On with the crits!
With eleven people attending and four pieces to discuss we even managed to finish on time . . .
- Rob presented the second half of the first chapter from his novel In Service to Dangerous Men. Plenty of compliments for the flowing prose in this piece. Further appreciation (continuing from last month) for the world building. A few people were concerned about the number of characters and whether Eska was a weak female archetype (especially as a leader). Calls for less info-dumping. Good scene setting. Great dialogue.
- Eric presented the 17th chapter from his novel Autumn Man. I think we had unanimous approval for the creepy kids threatening the teacher. A mix of opinion over Billy’s viewpoint section: some felt that the voice was perfect, others weren’t so sure. Some viewpoint shifting. Lots of appreciation for the Amon/Megan scene though there were a few questions about the emptiness of the school. Calls for an 80s setting.
- Chris presented a short / flash-fiction story called Behind Grey Eyes. Lots of appreciation for the theme in this story which seemed to be primarily about racism and discrimination, though a couple of people were concerned that there might be some mixed messages about our over-obsession with phones. i.e. ‘who is the zombie’? A lot of people wanted to know how the human-looking zombies could be identified as zombies. Comparisons made with the film Fido.
- Graeme presented the first two chapters from a new novel called Shock City. A number of people thought that the prologue presented a tough read, perhaps too much? With the dream sequence following in the first chapter some people wanted to see the main story sooner. Plenty of appreciation — and curiosity — about the setting which seemed steampunk though somehow different. A few people weren’t so sure about the flash sequences. Great world building. Appreciation for the setting: Manchester!
There’s a conversation going on over in our Facebook group about attending conventions in the coming year. Please let other members know if you’re thinking of popping along to a convention. These things are always better with a couple of friends along for the ride.
I’m still not sure about the venue for next month. We should be back at MadLab but please keep an eye on this website and the Facebook group for confirmation nearer the time.
Next meeting: Wednesday 11th February
See you all there!