Cleckheaton Writers Group met yesterday, where A, N, M, M, P and myself (K) were in attendance, P having passed on her apologies due to working on her play for Hebden Shorts.
For Work In Progress updates, A revealed that he had been writing and planning, M had been planning and world-building a new piece that he had brought along for feedback, N had been blogging and M had been editing for competition entry.
M had brought a new piece for his slot at the feedback session, a sci-fi story inspired by the Ian C Douglas workshop he had attended as part of the Cleckheaton Literature Festival. Everyone agreed they liked the feel of it, it really took you to the created world, but there was division about the final line (which was a sci-fi homage). K felt that the backstory and clothing descriptions felt a bit clunky, but as this is a first draft, the editing would no doubt sort this out, and liked that nothing was given away about what the characters were trying to achieve. The technical jargon was enjoyed as was the world building with class systems and religion. N felt that the world building was reminiscent of Alistair Reynolds and M agreed that one of the things that excited him most about this new piece was that he can make it different for every single world. P wanted a female character and A felt that it was a pure sci-fi story, on point with the golden age, i.e. less big space battle (M does not want any) and more about how people live/survive (M feels this is more important). M felt it reminded her of The Martian by Andy Weir in this way (he has to survive for a year until the next Mars mission).
This led onto a discussion about early sci-fi (50/60s) being visionary stuff and that some of the science still holds up in our reality (e.g. Arthur C Clarke). A recommended the Gap series by Stephen Donaldson. This generated a discussion about TV sci-fi including Farscape, Babylon 5 and Fireflies.
A then shared two pieces (one was 1800 word and the other 1600) with a shared theme of Wishes. The first was very Lovecraft with a vengeful wish-granter and the second was a comedy with an exasperated genie and hard-to-please human. M felt that the first genie should be given the 2nd character and that would work well too. All the group enjoyed both tales, but the second one brought a lot of laughter, where the first was much darker.
K informed the group that Creative Scene had invited the Cleckheaton Writers Group to an event at the Aakash restaurant in Cleckheaton on Thursday 4 June at 7pm celebrating music, food and art. Manasamitra, Creative Scene, Ben Castle (son of Roy Castle OBE) and artist Rozi Fuller will be part of the evening where there is a show and a buffet. Tickets are £14 Adults/£8 children for the Show/Buffet and £5 Adults/£3 children for the Show and are available online at www.ticketsource.co.uk/creativescene
As all of the members at the CWG meeting were CLF planning team members, K informed them that the Lloyds CLF bank account was now up and running and that plans are already underway for CLF2016. It is hoped to coincide with World Book Night in April and that there will be a few taster events prior to this to keep up interest in the Festival and the plight of the Library. K and M also informed the group about the Arts in the Neighbourhood funding meeting they attended and A agreed to do a blog review of the Julie Pryke event and M and P a review of the Alison Lock event for the CLF blog.
The next meeting of the Cleckheaton Writers Group will take place on Monday 15 June at 6-8pm in Cleckheaton Library and both feedback sessions are available.