July Critique Circle

Good news!  Our newest member has made her first ever submission to a story competition!  The story is great, by the way, and one day you could be reading it in our anthology (date yet to be confirmed – novels and other work have delayed initial timeline expectations, but we will get there).


The day was long, the topics varied, the crowd active.  David gave us an interesting discussion on the indigenous people of the area we live in – we wanted this so we can contribute to the Trail of Tales project for the Adelaide Fringe Festival 2016 (the focus is on a specific site in Tea Tree Gully).  The information will lead to further contact with the indigenous languages board and elders when work is closer to completion for permissions (where required).

The first piece of work discussed was a poem drafted for the Fringe.  As none of the four people present are practicing poets, the talk tried to balance symmetry, style, and structure.  And the title did not fit the story of the poem.  Some of the lines did not work in terms of action and description and the consistency of movement.  A real poet will be roped in (without her knowledge yet) to assist this newbie poet.

The second piece of work discussed how plot and tension and conflict, how big they need to be, how to ensure motivation matches the intensity of conflict to ensure tension in the plot is achieved.  This may sound like a simple thing – it’s not.  We barely scraped through, didn’t get past the first page (or so), and further work and discussion is required – and possibly finding  the means to deepen conflict through motivation of the POV characters.  Character (motivation) drives plot, character and plot drive tension, tension and character drive plot.  Plot is the struggle between character and conflict; conflict is the obstacles between the character and the goal/ resolution.

A wrap-up:

Story is a character struggling to resolve a conflict.

Plot + character + conflict + structure – the movement toward resolution.


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