We arrived at Christopher’s house to be welcomed by a glass of wine (or cup of tea) and a comfortable seat by the open fire which on a cold January night was just what was needed. After catching up and welcoming a new member we moved through to the “boardroom” to have a go at a free writing exercise – we had to write a paragraph starting with the word paracetamol and had a time limit of five minutes.
Once we got going it was amazing how the words flowed and each piece was well-written and interesting. We talked through how we felt about the exercise and observed how different each piece was despite us all having the same word as a starting point. We discussed free writing as a way to warm up before beginning to write, a way to banish writer’s block or generate inspiration for a work in progress which has stalled and as a way to find new ideas that we might want to follow up on.
We then moved onto the business of the evening. Rochelle has agreed to take on the post of secretary of the group after John’s resignation and we also voted to go ahead and create an online membership option for the group. We shall start small with this and see how well it works. If you would like to join the group as an online member please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will ensure that the details, once they are finalised, are sent to you.
We then moved onto the review of the short stories received so far for the collection. We spent about 15 minutes on each one and discussed what we liked, where we felt it could be improved and how the story made us feel. We digressed into a discussion about the “contract” between the writer and the reader and the merits and methods of using dialect in dialogue. All in all, the stories are getting into shape and our collection looks as though it will be a varied and enjoyable read – a fitting showcase of the talent in the group.
Our next meeting will take place on 16th February when we look forward to welcoming local author, Deborah Lawrenson, who is coming to chat with us about her writing experience. We cannot wait!