With a healthy turnout of members, we only had time to get through three of the four submitted pieces this week. But hey ho, what we lacked in crit quantity we made up for in crit quality.
We’d also like to offer a hearty welcome to Tom and Bryn who joined us for the first time. We look forward to reading something from you both in the future.
Chris presented the first part of a novel called Knight of Never Rest.
Everyone loved the atmospherics in this piece and felt like the idea of a world with naturalised necromancy was quite unique. There were lots of comparisons to The Witcher and Dark Souls. Some felt there was so much going on that they were left with too many unanswered questions. Could the world building be spread out amongst other chapters? Others disagreed with this and were happy to read on in ignorance until more details get revealed.
Some members felt that there was an incongruence between the post-technological, far future society and the extremely archaic language. Would language devolve this way? Some notable precedents were mentioned, particularly Gene Wolfe’s Book Of The New Sun. Some commented that the protags internal voice was very different from the more archaic dialogue she used. Stylistics aside, I think everyone thought the dialogue seemed natural and engaging.
Everyone is eager to read the second instalment.
Bronwin presented a chapter from her novel Green.
As usual, I think everyone found the imagery very satisfying, especially the first couple of pages.
There are still calls for more clarity, with a few members not really knowing where the story is heading. There were even a few questions raised over the necessity of the chapter.
The multiple Reginas scenario was a real source of confusion for many. Is it important to the story? Calls to have just one Regina. Some felt the father was a bit unbelievable. He is awful to his daughter then seems to change his mind for no reason. There were Some calls for the author to do away with the father’s current approach to his daughter’s mutism. Either that or the father’s treatment of his daughter should lead to a lasting rift in the family.
Some members felt Sally was crowbarred in at the end. Could she be introduced earlier?
Everyone is looking forward to the next Chapter!
Melissa presented a short story called A Short History Of Foole
There were lots of positive comments about the humour in this piece, with particular praise for the surrealness. There was healthy discussion over the meaning of the piece. Some members felt that the piece was a fairy tale missing a moral whereas others had their own idea about what the moral might be.
I think everyone found the piece to be very heavy on the telling, and there were calls for a more shown approach to the overall arc. Some members felt that the piece lacked well fleshed out characters, and struggled to emotionally resonate with the reader. This was a symptom of the strong omniscient viewpoint. There were a few calls for the story to be retold from a third person omniscient perspective.
Telling aside, I think everyone really enjoyed some of the imagery in the piece, which for the most part hit the nail on the head.
Everyone is hoping to read more from Melissa in the future!
After the meeting, we all headed over to Common to snarf down some pale ale. The main topic of conversation was James’ recent foray into writing copy for the Brexit biscuit (You think I’m kidding?)