Wednesday Meeting: 9th December

Apologies for missing yet another meeting due to illness this time. Excuses, excuses. I would say ‘see you at the next one’ but who knows, perhaps I’ll be abducted by aliens this time!

Thanks to Eliza for taking the following notes . . .

Twelve members attended the group on the dreary Wednesday night at MadLab. We managed to get through 4 pieces with Emma’s “Westralia” being the only one left for the next meeting.

  • Rob presented the first chapter of his new novel “Markanvay”. Lots of praise for the well-drawn underground world and prison setting. People especially liked his unconventional female protagonist being small and sneaky, and the prison warden being against trope. Most thought the opening wasn’t strong enough with suggestions ranging from going back to being captured, to going forward to the end of the chapter. People wanted more motivation for the protagonist and insight into her emotions. Queries about the intended audience and the gentleman, ahem, prisoner’s wandering hand.
  • Eric gave us a chapter of his ongoing novel. People are still enjoying the easy readable style of writing. Lots of praise for the demon’s point of view at the end of the chapter with a suggestion to make the whole thing from his view point. Others liked that it ran through as a straightforward narrative this chapter. Many people were confused with seven characters in one scene and there were calls to reduce the numbers or make it from Oscar’s viewpoint. A few questioned the authenticity of the teenage dialogue, stereotype character traits and even the 80s references! More show don’t tell for character development. Looking forward to the next chapter.
  • Luke presented part three of his novelette “Forever Young”. Everyone found the horror emotive and gruesome and the scene setting was praised There was some disagreement about whether or not it should all make sense. People liked the use of language to portray bleakness and increase the tension. To the dismay of the author, most people thought the astral references detracted from the main story. Continuing queries about the character’s motivations. The woman droned on a bit too much for most. More hillbillies and eating of the creatures suggested.
  • Chris gave us the third part of his novelette “Last Words”. People found it a fast-paced read and thought the squid was given a satisfying conclusion. Good character arc for Paul and many enjoyed the flashback battle scene. The ending felt unsatisfying to many with some asking for it to be a longer piece, even potentially a novel, and others wanting it to be bleaker. Disagreement over whether or not Anna develops enough as a character or if she was given a voice in the train scene. Pacing dragged in the middle for some. Some found the last words too contrived in the middle of a battlefield from a character who has had his heart eviscerated.

After the meeting we went to the Common for a change for discussions on the newly published Revolutions anthology, forthcoming Christmas meal and the NaNoWriMo successes in the group. The anthology is now available on ebook and print copy via Amazon. Christmas delivery is still available! We are looking for a venue to launch the anthology in Manchester in January so keep your eyes and ears open.

Next meeting: Tuesday 22nd December — yes this meeting has enough members wanting to attend to make it worthwhile

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