Friday, 18 December 2015

Final Proper Meeting of 2015

(Written by Annie posted by Rob)

We met on 23rd November at Annie’s house. It was rather a select group as Tony was not with us and Chris had sent his resignation via email since the previous meeting. We were so sorry to hear that work commitments made it impossible for Chris to attend any longer. We send him our warmest wishes and look forward to an invitation to his book launch. It was also agreed that in the New Year we would like to organise a meal to give Chris a proper send off.
Izzy had reviewed some candles on her blog and organised and launched her first ever blog competition the prize being some of the scented candle she was reviewing.
Rob has completed 36,000 words during National Novel Writing Month and is on track to complete 50,000 words by the end of November.
Linda had no news to report.
Annie had taken part in ‘The Hook’ event at the SCBWI conference and had found it a very useful process and had received plenty of feedback and ideas from five different agents.
Linda was submitting a chapter from her novel, the working title being ‘Winchelsea Beach’. The chapter was called ‘The Viewing’. Or to be more precise Linda described it as only half a chapter that she had managed to throw onto the page. As usual the quality of the writing was so high that no one had any sympathy for how busy Linda had been.
The chapter tells of how Lorna is showing her work at a swanky art exhibition and has taken Bill, her rather down market and scruffy fisherman boyfriend along with her. As soon as she arrives she can see that Bill is going to be something of a fish out of water and so dismisses him for the evening.
I love the fact that the woman welcoming them at the gallery was called Jelly. Bill didn’t believe her and told her so. She then revealed it was short for Angelica and shortly afterwards Lorna made it clear she had enough of him for one night. The descriptions of the people at the viewing were well-drawn - ‘a coven of elderly women grouped in one corner… heavily made up, they gave the impression they were in a theatrical production, which in a way they were.’ It was also easy to imagine the ‘fashionably dishevelled men scrutinising the paintings and dropping ash from their cigarettes onto the Paisley carpet’.      
Jane felt that the characterisation was good and she felt sorry for Bill and could tell that Lorna was charming yet devious. When Bill falls in love with Lorna it says that he had considered changing his boat’s name. I thought this to be an excellent way of showing rather than telling how Bill feels about her. In the next paragraph though Rob thought that there was a little bit too much tell. A handsome French stranger has caught Lorna’s eye by buying one of her expensive paintings as he is supported by his wealthy parents. Rob thought it better to let these details come out more slowly.
For the ending of the chapter Bill has spent the evening back at Lorna’s house but leaves before she arrives home. As he leaves he sees a 2CV with Lorna in the passenger seat heading in the opposite direction. We thought it might work out best if Lorna wasn’t mentioned at this stage as it does rather give away what happens in the next chapter.
An excellent piece of writing that really moved the story forward in terms of plot and character. It was a fabulous read that had us all gripped.
Next meetings:
Tuesday, 15 December is our Christmas outing to Stourport for a curry.
Our first meetings in 2016 are:
January 11th at Tony’s house and Tony will be submitting.
January 25th at Rob’s house and Annie will be submitting.
February 8th at Izzy’s house and Izzy will be submitting.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and productive 2016.

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