Cleckheaton Writers Group took place last night where Sarah, Martijn, Andy, Kathy and myself were in attendance, Pauline, Mandy and Neil having passed on their apologies.
The minutes from the previous meeting were passed and then each member gave an update on their WIP. Andy has written bits and pieces, though he felt he was not keeping up to NaNoWriMo. Sarah revised her short story and sent it to the Bristol short story competition, plus she finished her Bronte-inspired piece and sent it to the Writers Magazine competition. She has also been editing her novel. I have written another 4,800 words of my current WIP which I had brought along for feedback. Martijn is now up to 5k words and has done some editing. There is more to do and then he will be deciding where to take it next. He had brought along some of his current WIP for feedback. Kathy had not worked on anything since the last meeting.
I started the feedback session with the chapters of my WIP I had brought along wanting to know if the characters were distinctive enough in the dialogue. Andy felt that there was too much inner dialogue that slowed down the actual dialogue and suggested that I write the scenes as a script to give it more distance on the next draft. Sarah felt that the two brothers were coming across as a bit similar but that it is quite difficult as they are both the same gender and a similar age. She also felt that one of the female MCs came across a bit younger than intended and liked the fact that there were no clichés. There were a couple of lines that she particularly enjoyed.
Martijn then shared his work for feedback and all the group agreed that there was some good world-building and excellent characterisation using dialect. He had created a great character with only a brief description. I felt that there needed to be action a little sooner in the piece, but that the characters age and fear came across really well.
This led to a discussion about fantasy as both feedback WIPs were fantasy novels. We discussed Stephen King, The Stand and Dr Sleep in particular, plus Dean Koontz, The Outsider in particular, and Martijn and I informed the other members about the workshops we had attended at the CLF last year on world-building and fantasy that we had found invaluable. We recommended a couple of workshops in particular, as the authors were coming back and I shared a story-planning worksheet that I had promised to bring to a CWG meeting.
As the next meeting would fall on the two upcoming Bank Holidays, we moved them to the 9th and then the 23rd of May.