Another Wednesday and another Renegade Writers' evening, tho' with it being so bloody cold it took and effort to drive to Stoke. But it was worth it.
Shaun read the first chapter of his new book - working title 'The Predators' - which introduced the hero, Brenden. It's certainly different to have as your principal a down-and-out and I think it gives a lot of scope for character development. I did tho' think that Brenden should have been a little more preoccupied with the cold and more could have been made of his 'educated' demeanor, but as a first draft I thought it was terrific.
Jan was next up with her 1,000 'flash fiction' piece called '13th Day' which she's submitting for a Christmas edition of an on-line mag. It was certainly quirky and, typically of Jan, was packed full of ideas but there was pretty universal agreement in the group that the song 'exposition' that she's currently got at the end of the story needs to be moved to the beginning. I think if she does that then the mystery aspect will be enhanced rather than compromised.
Tim read the next instalment of his sex-o-drama and here the group was split. In a nutshell Tim's story relates the tale of a serial killer, a psychopath - it's sort of 'Hudderfield Psycho'. Now to me the almost languid style Tim's using when he's voicing the killer works really well, after all psychopaths are deemed to be unemotional, arm's length type of people with no use for empathy or feelings of guilt. So in my humble this matter-of-fact relating is perfect and sets up an interesting juxtapositioning with the more visceral and murderous moments of the story. Shaun disagreed - he was of the opinion (and I'm paraphrasing here) that Tim needed to inject some pace. I guess that's one of the things about writers (and readers) we all have different perceptions of what makes a good book but then if we all liked the same thing we'd be killed in the rush.
Jeanette read a short piece called (I think) 'Catching the Eye'. It was well written but it just shows that I wasn't fully compos mentis last night that I did 'get' the pay-off subtleties. Oh hum.
The evening was rounded off by Louise reading a poignant short about a quadriplegic with a gift for art. It reminded me in some ways of 'Flowers for Algernon' (brilliant book) and could and maybe should be taken further. Look at it from the painter's perspective perhaps?
A good evening though the white wine seems to have deteriorated. Never mind.