RENEGADE WRITERS: 29TH JUNE 2011
Welcome to new attendee Gerry!
Congratulations to Jan on the nomination of her short story ‘Otterburn’ in the British Fantasy Society Awards 2011 short story category.
After the standing-room only attendance of last week we were down to just six of us this week, but small in number though we were the quality of the writing was good.
Jan kicked off with a new short story called ‘Midnight Twilight’ set on a desolate artic island ‘somewhere north of Fennmark’ and involving the experiences of an intrepid reporter Ellie as she tries to get to the bottom of the nightly appearances of a mysterious sledger. We were all agreed that the piece was well written and the planned hook a good one. Specific comments were:
• Ellie (as a novice arctic-nik) seemed remarkably unphased by the strange dawn/duck ambience and her ability as a cross-country skier a little too good.
• The time spent describing the dogs was probably excessive.
• Jan has to check her speeds and distances.
• Maybe Ellie should be on a mission to check out all the unexplained legends (Yeti, BigFoot, the Abominal Sledger etc.).
Peter read a short story entitled ‘Ghost House’ which was a tale of a sceptic challenging his disbelief by spending some time in ‘the most haunted house in Britain’ where he has a close encounter of the weird kind. Again a good, strong story. Comments were:
• The Edwardianesque syntax of the girl threw one or two of the listeners, maybe more could be made of her being an en-actor?
• There was a feeling that the ending should be made shorter and punchier and that Peter should find a way of communication the lead characters scepticism earlier.
• Not make the lead character married so the sexual chemistry between him and the girl could be played up.
I read an excerpt from the end of ‘The Demi-Monde: Spring’, the sexy bit involving the seduction of one of his characters. It seemed to go down well with the listeners. Comments were:
• Perhaps make it a little snappier in places.
• One particular switch of POV has to be emphasised for clarity