Cleckheaton Writers Group met yesterday via Zoom, Sarah, Karen, Alice, Gemma and Neil in attendance, Sam having passed on his apologies.
The minutes from the previous meeting were passed and members gave an update on their WIP: Karen has entered a novel into the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition, applied for 3 writing jobs, submitted her first rs novel to two U.S. agents and written two new chapters for her current rc WIP (which she shared for feedback); Sarah has not heard anything back yet from the agent who requested her full MS (fingers crossed as no news is good news) and has written a further 6k words on her WIP, taking it to 15k. She has experienced a wobble in ability to write the story (all the CWG members agreed that this is normal) and is hoping that the Psychology of Character course she is starting on Saturday will kick start her once more; Alice is planning the sequel to her first MS (which is now with GEA for feedback, good luck Alice) and is concerned that she has noticed plot holes and she is only a quarter through the book. The members agreed this happens a lot when writing. Alice has designed a board to work it out (reminiscent of the police ones detectives use with string and pics to work out who dunnit) and all members were impressed with this; Gemma has completed the Ali Harper online course which has kick-started her writing (Anna Chilvers and Ali Harper normally run this course as a residential) and she has been writing 1k words a day (except for taking the weekend off) and is at 7k words using the plot planning Ali recommended of 40 chapters of 2k per chapter with a split 20k midpoint (she showed her plan which members were impressed with). She has worked out how to ramp up the tension and introduced a head butt. Coincidentally when reading Dracula for her book group, there is a chapter with a woman who gets cholera so this is great research for her character in the MS; Neil has set up his laptop and been looking into an English A level course at either Huddersfield/Halifax to get back into his writing groove. Alice suggested distance learning courses and WEA as some of these are free for the unemployed. Gemma metioned Coursera who also have free courses.
CW Comps/Workshops/Events: Gemma gave information on the Costa Short Story competition which is free to enter. Karen informed members that the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition is open until the 14th of August for free entries. Sarah had been contacted by the Caledonia Novel Award as a previously longlisted writer and this competition is open now for first novels with a fee of £25 for entry.
Feedback: Karen had shared two chapters of her rc WIP for feedback. Gemma enjoyed it and felt the chapters furthered the story. She noticed that the male MC held his breath and didn't let it go but she felt that there was great characterisation (giving examples), she laughed out loud at some of the lines (I do what? Kill one?) and also felt there was good description of characters. Sarah agreed that there was great characterisation with good pace and flow and she likes the direction it is heading. There were a couple of prose things to edit on page 3 with Rosalie's description and Georgia looking like a meerkat. She also felt that the joke about a repeated line would work just as well with it being a pop song instead of named singers. Neil had not had chance to read it yet, but said he would forward his feedback along once he had (Sam is also forwarding his feedback via email). Alice enjoyed the chapters feeling that the relationship between brother and sister Rosalie and Nate is strong but felt that Nate and Eveline agree too quickly to the change of plan when both initially say that they wont. She enjoyed the desciption details contained within conversation, making it entertaining rather than an info-dump of facts and that she feels each character has personalities of their own unique in speech and mannerisms.
Plans for writing: Sarah is looking to write 3k words a week, Gemma 1k a day. Neil wishes to finish his short ghost story The Cubbyhole and look at courses. Alice will continue planning her sequel and Karen will plan out her rs WIP. She will also be receiving her GEA feedback during a 1-2-1 on Monday.
The next meeting will take place on 24 August but Sarah will not be in attendance as she has a weeks holiday planned.