Monthly Archives: January 2016

January Critique

Today we discussed the projects and toolbox elements for 2016 (isn’t it amazing, another year has just flown by!).¬† See our Writing Themes Page for the update.

One piece of a WIP was presented for critique – part of an ongoing serialised Steam Punk story. The main things we considered was when a tease is too subtle, when a word is okay, but not quite right, when a paragraph or sentence needs to be shortened/lengthened to give the right feel, the right atmosphere – and the way the words present the picture (if you want the reader to see a big gate, some sort of description of the size is appropriate – a tiny bit of tell, maybe, but the reader has to get just the right picture).

The second piece was a backpage blurb – and it needs some work. A blurb is a tease, not a synopsis. Maybe one day we should include a toolbox item for synopsis, blurb, etc.

We will also be considering a series of short stories for competitions throughout the year, and the good ones (that means all of them) will go into our anthology.

Keep watching! And enjoy the year of the Monkey.


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Jan – the meeting you have when you’re not having a meeting

We decided to have an impromptu meeting last week, even though we had already decided to have a break for the first meeting of 2016 – and the library was closed, so we met at an air-conditioned (has anyone mentioned the heat in Adelaide this season – and last season – and last year) house, sat around the kitchen table (we now need a swear jar – whoops) and discussed/critiqued four pieces.

The first, a near-future short story, is very close to being completed and will be considered for the first of the short story comps we intend to go into this year. It is a great story, close POV, subtle tension (just the right level of ‘ping’), and a good coda (where the end is a return to the feel and context of the beginning). And enjoyable read.

The second, a dragon fantasy, was a rewrite of a first scene (okay, a completely different set of words based on the same story theme). This submission is now very much in close POV, the setting and ‘feel’ are easily felt, and the flow through the scene sequence is smooth and logical. This will be the start of a very good thing.

The third, a new addition to a previously published story, is steampunk. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to give this the discussion it deserved, although a couple of members stayed behind to discuss – we’ll do more of a write-up on this after the meeting next week, where more discussion will ensue.

The fourth, a back page blurb, will also be discussed next week, but some comments were written and delivered (amendments will probably be made by next week, but . . .).

Our next meeting is back in the library now that all the public holidays, festive season, and mad rush are all over (bar the shouting), so we’ll see you then.

The next meeting will also bring forth all the toolbox topics we want to go through this year, and the competitions we are going to submit stories for.

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