Some things happened during the course of the meeting but the only really important thing was that Rob had a cold…
We met at Rob’s house on 14th March.
Before the critique we discussed our news:
I have now finished two picture book manuscripts as a result of attending an on-line story-writing course.
Tony has had a book proposal rejected but has been asked to write the introduction to a Malcolm Saville book.
Rob took delivery of a set of his second novel ‘Out of Such Darkness’ and found a blank page had been included within the text. This technical error meant he had to order a new set. What to do with the imperfect copies though? Ever the ideas man, Rob set up an on-line competition where people could ask to receive a book for free. Rob is also editing his latest novel, ‘The Petrified Fountain.’
It was a chapter from this novel that we critiqued.
The chapter sees Cross still in Portugal with his cousin Luis. The pair listened to traditional Portuguese ‘Fado’ singers at a local restaurant. This chapter was slower-paced than previous ones but there was much to admire. Jane enjoyed the description of Cross’ visit to a bookshop. I felt that Cross’ character was being well-drawn; he appears to take every opportunity to compare himself with others and in this chapter it is height comparisons.
Tony and Linda had concerns over Cross as the narrator and found his voice quite intrusive. Rob explained that he wished to continue with it in the first person and he felt that this best served the plot.
There were some excellent descriptions of the ‘Fado’ singers who it seemed stopped at nothing to perform, including being hooked up to an oxygen mask. We questioned the likelihood of this but Rob assured us that this section was written from his research trip to Portugal. I loved Cross’ summing up of the musical experience: a fantastic oxymoron. ‘It’s very emotional …powerful… and I understood every word even though I didn’t, if you see what I mean.’
We also enjoyed Luis’ use of a noun as a verb with ‘Let’s have a sherry to nightcap.’Our next meeting is on Monday 11th April at my house. Linda is submitting.
(Written by Annie posted by Snivelling Rob.)