Cleckheaton Writers Group took place last night at Cleckheaton Library where Alice, Kathy, Mandy, Sarah, Andy, Pauline, Neil and myself were in attendance, Arlene having passed on her apologies.
We welcomed back Neil and Andy, as we had with Pauline and Arlene at the last meeting. Sarah informed those members that did not know already of her plans to leave the CWG whilst she travels the world. It was agreed that she would still be a virtual member from September until her return, though she would be missed.
Starting the meeting with our work in progress (WIP) updates, we shared what we had been up to since the last meeting. Sarah has been working on her pitch for Thursday's Dragon's Pen at Harrogate Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, which she has brought for feedback. She has also received feedback on her novel from Bath, following long-listing, and Curtis Brown and is looking into how she can tell her story in a different way. Alice has been blogging and started a couple of short stories. Mandy has had an idea that has started her on a new short story which will be longer than her normal short stories. Kathy has written a short story of just over 1k words and is working on her WIP, she is just about to connect the characters up. The rest of us have been blogging or working on other things.
Feedback sessions: We started with Alice, who shared her adult short story from a first person perspective. It was very eerily sci-fi and hooked us in immediately with good characterisation/dialogue and creepy tone. A couple of editing points were suggested and Alice explained that she is hoping that the story will be a novella of around 30k words. Sarah felt it was reminiscent of the Village of the Damned film/The Midwitch Cuckoos.
Kathy then shared her story entitled Families. It was very evocative of the things family say to each other but had a creepy feel to it like Alice's and an unexpected/quick twist at the end. We all enjoyed it but felt it would benefit from being a bit shorter and suggested some areas for editing. Kathy is going to change it to flash fiction, or more accurately 'Slash for Flash' as a writing exercise.
Sarah shared her Dragon's Pen Pitch and her synopsis. We then discussed the merits of each and how the Dragon's Pen section of the Festival works, and it was suggested that a combination of the two (pitch and synopsis) might work best as the pitch was a little too short. The members wished her the best of luck for Thursday and Pauline and I will be there to support.
Andy then shared two scenes from his WIP. They were both exploratory and were first draft. The fight scenes were very visceral and Andy's tone when reading it out added much to them as his Yorkshire accent worked to enhance. Again it was suggested that Armley Press might be interested in his novel if he chose to send it to them once it was finished.
Neil explained that he is hoping to work on his Haunted House story next and Pauline is working on her biography for the CLF anthology.
The next meeting is 31 July at the usual time of 5.30-7pm at Cleckheaton Library, where new members are always welcome and meetings are fortnightly thereafter. I will be unable to attend the meeting of 31 July and therefore am passing on my apologies.