Apologies for the delay in getting these notes posted but it’s been a busy week.
My thanks to Luke for putting these together.
We had 4 pieces to critique on Wednesday with 11 people attending.
- First up we had a piece of micro-fiction from James Phillips called The Highway. Plenty of praise for the descriptions in this piece, although some found parts of slightly clunky. The piece was seen more as a vignette than a plot driven piece and there were calls for more of a story hook to grab the reader. Some group members had a worry about whether the piece was sufficiently speculative.
- Secondly we had the second half of a story from Luke called Forever Becoming. Lots of compliments on the weirdness of the piece and the disturbing plot. There were come calls for the protagonist’s motivations to be spelled out in more detail. Would he really hang around with all the weird creatures and the lousy living conditions? Some questions over whether the telescope would be able to see black holes. Some calls to slow down the pace and spend a little more time on setting the scene. Some questions over the significance of the tower? Will it feature again in the story? Or is it a bit of a red herring. The horror aficionados of the group made comparisons to Thomas Ligotti and Laird Barron. The author assured us that an even weirder third instalment is on its way.
- Chris presented the first half a of a longer piece called Last Words. Lots of praise for the first section of the story, with some comments that it was the best work they had seen from the author at the group. The world building was enjoyed by all, especially the descriptions of the squid. There were lots of questions raised over the dialogue of the squid. Was it too Dalek like? Comparisons also made to the Hanaar in the Mass Effect series of games. There were also questions raised over the motivations of the squid. He was a bit of pantomime villain for some. There were also questions over the pet with a bit of a split in the group as to whether it was too quick to gloat at the protags misfortunes. Comparisons made between the squids and the Nazis. The flash back scenes were perceived to be a little slow by some, and there were a few calls to speed them up. Some members of the group wanted a fight scene with the squid.
- Eric presented another group of chapters from his novel Hellbound. Lots of comments that the story is really starting to come together now, the direction of the story is now starting to make itself known. Some members thought that the chapter felt a bit like the end of a first act and questioned whether this is coming slightly late. Other members questioned whether Luke’s meeting with Oscar seemed a bit info dumpy. Shouldn’t Luke be more forthcoming in offering condolences? There were also some questions raised about whether the meetings with Luke and Roy were too similar. Combine them? Looking forward to reading more.
Afterwards we jibbed off to our usual watering hole for a pint and a chat. We have our Christmas meal on the 11th of December. If you haven’t gotten your deposits in to Eliza yet you will need to asap!
Our next meeting is on Tuesday the 24th of November. Get scribbling people!