Another excellent meeting of Cleckheaton Writers Group (CWG) this evening where L, P, N, D and myself were in attendance, along with two new members A and V. A has written scripts, screenplays, short stories and novels, as well as a sitcom that he received feedback for from the BBC Writers Room. V revealed that she has been writing songs for a long time, but feels she is a beginner when it comes to creative writing. The members felt that we were all beginners once and L agreed, saying that she was a beginner when she first joined CWG and she has now written a complete manuscript of a children's novel.
For the WIP update, L informed the group that she has completed her first draft and it totals around 73k words and she has agreed to share some it for feedback at the next meeting. N has completed the first of his trilogy of short stories and has made a start with the second. D has been writing every day and her new manuscript is coming along nicely as part of their joint JaNoWriMo challenge.
We discussed the testimonials that we had received from an author in regard to an Author Talk and it was decided that the members would rather approach known writers/workshop leaders to begin with. We agreed that MSH, HC and AT are candidates we would like to approach initially.
Our two new members were informed of the upcoming Huddersfield Literature Festival www.litfest.org.uk and the www.leedstrinity.ac.uk/news_events/pages/leeds-trinity-writers'-festival.aspx taking place in March this year. D and myself have put our names forward to volunteer at the Huddersfield Literature Festival, so details/reviews of workshops/events will follow.
V asked how we each came up with ideas/inspiration for our writing. We each discussed our writing processes, whether it be with paper and pen, straight to computer or a combination of both and how we let character, setting or other factors influence our stories. Some of us plot out beforehand and others are 'pantsers' (where you just write the story and see where it takes you rather than following plot points), but we all agreed that getting the story down is the most important thing, to turn off the self-editor and just write, the editing can come after. When asked what word count constitutes a short story, flash fiction, a novel etc. L agreed to forward an article she has that tables this and P agreed to forward the writing challenge that she set at a previous meeting to the two new members.
We then took part in a twenty minute writing challenge choosing from the following themes:
1) I could've avoided all that trouble if only I had remembered to.....
2) Write about an escalating dispute between two normally polite, upstanding neighbours. How do they manifest resentment, rage, revenge?
3) Write about a person who wins something that s/he doesn't want to.
We each chose one of the themes and those who felt brave enough read theirs out to the group. Three members chose the first challenge and it was fascinating hearing the differing and interesting stories produced. Two members chose challenge two with very amusing consequences. I had chosen challenge three but did not get time to read it out (maybe I will share this with the group at a future meeting). All of the stories, be they finished or not, gave the members something to work on and grow and we look forward to hearing them once they are honed and finished.
The next meeting will take place in a fortnight on Monday 3 February 6-8pm at Cleckheaton Library (meetings are fortnightly thereafter) where new members are always welcome.