Apologies again for the slight delay in getting these notes posted but it’s been another busy week. As some of you know I’ve been training for my kung-fu grading which took place yesterday. Normal service will now be resumed! Thanks again to Luke for taking these notes and further thanks to Graeme and Eric and everyone else for their continued support with the group. You all rock! See you at the next meeting on the 9th. –Craig
Before we start with the crits, it is worth mentioning that the group’s anthology is nearing completion. The editors are beavering away with the final proofing as I write. While they are crossing t’s and dotting I’s, I have been getting the Twitter page up and running. We are getting some good engagement and a steady increase of followers. If you have a Twitter account, you can help us out by throwing the odd retweet our way.
Anyway, on with the critiques. We had 10 members in attendance this Wednesday with four pieces to discuss.
- Chris presented the second part of a novelette called Last Words. Lots of praise for the writing in this piece. Some questions over the flashback. Is it required? Some calls for more of the weird world we saw in the first part to come through in the second. Some questions over whether there needed to be more mentions of the ‘Tell Anna…’ beat. Some questions over Jo’s motivations. Comparisons to Orwell, are the references too obvious? Some questions over the similarity of the flashback scene to War Of The Worlds. Questions over Paul’s belligerence given that he has lived his life in fear of the squids and Civil Defense.
- Ian presented a short story called Formby Point. Lots of praise for the gritty imagery in this piece. Some calls for an insight into Burnsey’s end. Some questions over the trash wall. Could it really hold back the sea? The staccato style, worked very well in places but some members felt it needed work in a few passages. Some calls for more of a resolution, or more of an emotional tangent for the piece.
- Quentin presented the first part in a world building series called New Beginnings. Lots or praise for the sword and sorcery setting (not a lot of it at the group). Some concerns over the amount of made up names and place names. Some calls for contextualizing the place names to give them some weight/significance or to constrain the focus slightly. Lots of praise for Ulanya’s character, the stalwart mentor. Some questions over the Helbreder’s name. Praise for the world building and the symbology of the religion. Some calls for the rest of the story to live up to the gritty and engaging opening. Some requests for more of a story hook.
- Emma presented a piece called Lab Notes On Moon Rocks. Lots of praise for the language in this piece. Some worries over the overly academic tone in places, but I think everyone enjoyed the voice. Some members wanted the ending of the piece to be made clearer, but some felt that they enjoyed the open questions the piece raises. Is it too much of an open ending? Could the author lay a few more bread crumbs to hint at a possible resolution? Some questions over the coldness of the protagonists. Some questions over the theories of the moon breaking away from the earth.
As usual we popped over to Common to chat the Revolutions anthology and our usual score of nerdy minutiae (particularly the recent happenings in the groups Call Of Cthulhu campaign).
Next meeting: Wednesday 9th December