Saturday, 8 August 2009

Cavalry, crime and conflict

Meeting of 5 August

Only 6 attendees this time, plenty of apologies – domestic disasters and family visits, among them. It’s hot out there!

We had a general discussion about taking onboard comments and learning from any criticism. Bottom line is, if you haven’t got a thick skin – to face rejection, for example – then you’d better spent your time on other pursuits.

Ashes to ashes
Ann began with an amusing anecdote concerning her family and the spreading of a deceased’s ashes. This engendered many similar reminiscences.

Lure, not lurid
Mary K gave us a clever and amusing poem on the lure of the pen and how she looks forward to these weekly sessions. She apologised for not writing any sleaze for a while…

Cavalry trill
Gerry read out an 1870s tale about Joel and how he grew up outside Boston and finally joined the US Cavalry. Told from the omniscient point of view, it worked well but requires more emotion and detail to place the reader in that time and place. Put more emphasis on the particular rather than the general.

Criminal intent
Nik read out the beginning of his novel The Dragon Tree rewrite, concerning illegal immigration in Tenerife. Many illegals work for a pittance in those massive agricultural tents. Excerpt illustrates controlled switching of point of view in the narrative.

Training for the army
Glynn offered up a rewrite of first chapter of his Joining the Army novel. Starts with his train journey, leaving hearth and home. Great descriptions, as usual, with more characterisation of the narrator this time around. A few things still to tweak, notably story logic/chronology. Still, it’s shaping up very well.

Base character in basement
Heather, our new recruit, began reading her long short story about East/West and it had all of us intrigued. A neat twist, too, concerning the main character’s viewpoint. We’re all waiting to hear more.

A house is a home
Finally, Brenda presented an interesting exercise about the house and the home, two pieces concerning the same building but from two different perspectives. The family buying the house and then the final leave-taking of the place, using smells to evoke memories. Well conceived. And fancy that, an attic and a diary figured in the story!

No comments:

Post a Comment