Three pieces were submitted for critique: one almost complete short story, one excerpt (4 scenes) from a WIP novel, and two chapters from a WIP novel.
The short story is almost complete, and most of the discussion centred on the concept of ‘conflict’ in story.
Story is character in conflict who struggles towards resolution (basic definition). This story is almost finished, but the lack of clarity in the role of conflict, the who and how and why, is a little limp at the moment – implied, but not dramatised. It will be a great story when complete, and is a likely candidate for the anthology.
The four scenes of the WIP showed a weakness in setting that was separate from character. To stay in character when in a setting means seeing the setting from the POV character, not just describing (it turns into exposition – bad). It was also missing a vital element when the POV char was confronted – action, reaction: why wasn’t the most important reaction there, at that moment in the story, when that is what a reader would expect? Do not disappoint your reader!
The two chapters were in an early draft stage and will be resubmitted when more work has been completed.
We welcomed a new member this month, who contributed clarity and vision – new eyes are always a good thing!
See you next month for the Toolbox Meeting: Plot and Conflict.