April meeting – Fancy dress?

One of our members, Robin Owen, writes here about our April meeting.

We had a good crowd of nine for our latest meeting, including Sally who was with us for the first time.  Many thanks to Christopher for hosting the meeting.

Much of the evening focused on the writing exercise we had been set when we were last together: 700 words of fiction, non-fiction or poetry on the theme of ‘The Costume Party’ (inspired by Elaine’s new venture into fancy dress hire for charity).  Jenny had also brought the latest version of Chapter 4 of her young adult fiction ghost story for us to look at.

So we had a bumper crop of work to talk about, with imaginative interpretations of the theme and a range of characters: the fancy dress competition judge; princesses at the Masked Ball and the princes who were not what they first appeared to be; werewolves; the widow seeking her new place in the world; monks and ‘thin places’; and the friend seeking a new life.  A lively discussion ensued, with everyone appreciating the feedback they received.  As is often the case, comments on specific pieces of work led naturally to discussion on wider writing-related topics.  These included: the nature of fairy tales (many of which were never intended for children it appears); how to build tension as a story unfolds; providing enough detail to help the reader understand what was going on but not so much that they can’t use their imagination; and knowing the audience you are writing for.  It all gave us much to think about.

Sophie reminded us of the survey she had set up so we could share our views on what we want to get out of the group in the future.  She also reminded us that Alice Clark-Platts will be running a workshop for the group on 18 July 2017 about plot drafting.

The next meeting will be on 9 May.  Our mission for the meeting, which we all accepted, is to write a 100 word short story on any subject.


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