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Meeting: 11th May

First of all I’d like to welcome John Moran and Eric Steele who joined us for the first time last. Oh and that Greg chap who dropped in halfway through! We appreciated the excellent feedback you gave on our work and we’re looking forward to seeing some of your own work at a future meeting. And that was a mighty fine t-shirt Eric!

Secondly… Happy Birthday to us! Yes, the group is now a year old. We ate Guy’s cake and chatted about the good old times.

Then we got around to critiquing some writing:

  • Shirley presented the start of a short story called Love Thy Will Be Done. Most people liked the protagonist Constance, a few didn’t. Several people enjoyed the subtle use of language and the modest speculative element. There were a few questions asked about the first paragraph. Positive parallels were drawn with Children of Men (this film keeps popping up!) and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. We also discussed the use of bullets (typographical not lead) and flashbacks. We all want to see the final piece.
  • Rob presented the latest installation of his post-apocalyptic novel. Everyone seemed to enjoy the suicidal scene and there was a flurry of questions about how to punch yourself in the mouth and the positioning (and meaning) of the tattoo. Several people welcomed the new character Henry. There was the usual discussion about mixing third and first person (which continued at the pub afterwards).
  • Dave presented the start of a short story called Father And And And And And Sons. Everyone loved the Small Men! Several people commented on the flat world setting – that they liked it, and that it was subtle. The repetition didn’t do so well. Ah well. Positive parallels were drawn with Terry Gilliam’s work. Everyone wanted to see the finished work.
  • Craig presented a short story called Five-A-Day Friends. Everyone seemed to enjoy the sentient veggies, especially the tomato being eaten. There was demand for a little more variety in the swearing and the ‘Veggie paedo!’ outburst stirred up a quick debate. Pretty much everyone disliked the last line, but the author sneakily blamed that on someone else.
  • Guy presented a further chapter from his novel Night Work. Everyone loved the city shrugging off its day clothes. The journalism was picked apart, as was the spelling, as was the Mr Cockfosters joke. There was desperate plea for: “What’s going on!?” Several people liked the boats. And the politics. We all want to know what happens in that car crash…

As usual we popped down the pub afterwards. I remember chatting about mixing third and first person, and writing markets I think.

There’s a strange juxtaposition next month with the first Tuesday and second Wednesday, so for now let’s assume the next meeting is:

  • Wednesday 8th June, 7pm-9.30pm
I’ll have a word with MadLab about ‘pencilling in’ a possible meeting after this one in June. I do wonder whether that would be a better way of doing things in future? Have the Wednesday meeting first each month and a second ‘overflow’ meeting after that. What does everyone think?
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