The Cleckheaton Writers Group met last night with myself, Andy and new member Irene in attendance, Sarah, Kathy, Mandy and Neil having passed on their apologies. We started the meeting by welcoming Irene, who was new to writing and explained what we write and how the meetings work. I explained the different genres all our members write and asked what she was hoping for from attending the group. As a beginner, she was looking to make a start writing fiction.
The minutes from the last meeting were passed and we then gave WIP updates: I have written two beginning scenes for two new scripts and have been working on my pilot script for the screenwriting course, plus plot planning my current WIP from its current 3/4s written to the ending. Andy has been undertaking an intense pre-write of his upcoming WIP.
I started the feedback session by sharing first scenes from two of my current scripts and this led to a discussion about requirements for TV scripts. Most want six 30 minute episodes with 2/3 laughs per page for a comedy or 45-50 pages for a drama. I also shared some of the salient notes I had taken from both the last meeting of the scriptwriting course and the SCBWI meeting that I attended on Saturday. We then discussed various TV shows, including comedies both past and present comparing their relative merits and faults.
Andy shared some of his poems, Personal Politics, Sick and Tales of the lad, the last of which was a fable poem. I recommended that Andy attend an open mic night, possibly the one coming up in Ilkley run by Mark Connors of Armley Press, as I thought they would be perfect for the event. I passed on details of the event in June and promised to pass on information about the Poetry wi' chips one this Friday (I have since done so via Facebook). Irene recommended publishing his poems in a newspaper or magazine as politics is very topical at the moment.
I informed the members about upcoming competitions, workshops and events, including a couple of playwriting competitions and the Leeds Big Bookend.
As Irene had shown interest in getting some ideas with a view to beginning writing, we gave her a writing challenge to write a short story for the next meeting that had to have a main character with a strong, clear objective (story goal), conflict for both the protagonist and antagonist and a knock-out ending. We suggested the mirror ending technique where the beginning and end are like bookends. This was just to give her a starting point to her first piece of writing. If members have time, it would be great if we could all try to complete this challenge for the next meeting.
The next meeting will take place on Monday 5 June at 5.30pm at Cleckheaton Library. New members always welcome.