Meeting: 10th June

Hi everyone! Another busy meeting last night with 12 people attending. 10+ seems to be our new summertime average so I would once again advise everyone to keep critiques to a manageable length. We overran on time during our fourth round when we should have finished on time. Don’t rush your critiques but please be considerate of others. You could prepare a bullet point list of 3 or 4 discussion points — perhaps 5 at the most — to frame your delivery.

Could I also remind everyone to save work into DropBox as a DOC file and to add your name to the filename as well as the first page and the header of every page (along with the title and page number). Please re-read the rules.

OK, nagging over!

Meeting: 10th June

We had a single submission carried over from last month’s meeting with another four new submissions making for five in total. With 12 people attending we were unlikely to discuss all of these but we managed four during the meeting itself and I think most people accepted an offer from Chris to discuss his short story over at Common afterwards.

On with the crits!

  • James presented his short story Derren You Stupid Wanker. I think everyone found this a horrific read, especially the male members of the group. It certainly achieved what it set out to do. General consensus that the protagonist was an extremely unpleasant individual and that he got was what coming to him — though a couple of people wondered whether his stalking had gone too far. Several people commented upon a viewpoint that seemed to become distant as the action got going.  A few people were unsure about the punchline and the reaction from his house-mates.
  • Hans presented his short story 52 Bankside Close. Several people commented on the great atmosphere in this piece as well as the quality of the writing. A few people wondered whether the protagonist was too passive. Formatting: add indents on paragraphs, remove spacing after paragraphs, reduce frequency of section breaks. Lots of people enjoyed the ending.  Some questions raised over pacing and a slow start, and whether the duvet scene should come sooner.
  • Terence presented the second chapter from his novel Gourmet to the Stars. Several compliments for the wise-cracking humour in this piece as well as the bot’s dialogue and personality. Some people weren’t sure about the hashes, dashes and bold formatting in the dialogue. Compliments for the descriptions of the architecture and aliens, though a few people wanted to see more description for better clarity. There were also questions raised about the pacing and whether it needed more narrative drive. Also, that title/name needs an alternative.

As already mentioned we had a single submission left over at the end of the meeting: a short story from Chris called Motion to Dismiss. Chris invited critiques over at Common after the meeting so we won’t be carrying anything forward to next month’s meeting. If you have any critique notes please feel free to bring them along to handover in person next time.

I’d just like to say that I really enjoyed Chris’ piece, especially the dialogue and the central concept itself. I was a little worried that the skin tattoo was too similar to that in the film In Time so I wondered about dropping this item of tech and perhaps the glasses as well and just going with some retinal + cochlear implants. Anyway, great read!

Next month’s meeting: Wednesday 8th July

See you all there!

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