This evening’s meeting opened with a welcome to two new visitors who promised themselves they would visit our club and hopefully join.

After the introductions, the meeting was passed over to committee member Morris Lindsay who had promised an evening of learning. Titled Building Character/Peer Assessment and Crime Story 2 the evening started with a bang.

Morris Lindsay

Morris introduced the subject of peer assessment – delicately. As a club, we don’t normally have this as a standard part of the meeting. The earlier discussion highlighted there were many who are for the introduction of this feature to our classes but there is still doubt with others of these editing workshops.

Morris explained participating members should select a piece of their own work to be edited. This can be poetry, prose or drama with a maximum word count of 1500 words. If it is an extract e.g. from a novel then use the word ‘Extract’ in the title and give a sentence or two of context before it starts.

Each Thursday Morris will email members one person’s entry.  Members then have the chance to print and edit the story as they see fit. All of this is anonymous. The benefits of this exercise is

    1. Editors get to hone their skills. (It is much easier to edit someone else’s work compared to one’s own precious manuscript.
    2.  b) Authors receive multiple honest opinions on their work – which they are free to accept or reject – and which may improve their work.
    3.  c) Encourages people to share their work and hear each others ‘voices’.

We’ll give some updates on this in future blogs.

The second part of the evening was Character in Fiction. Once again Morris explained the importance of Character in Fiction from external characterisation – i.e physical description, their dialogue, characters actions and who they are – status.

This gave the members food for thought with clear explanations from Morris and the following Group discussions.

He also touched on Internal characterisation which is when an author goes inside a character’s head – written in the first person. This highlighted the interior monologue and stream of consciousness.

There were many other areas we covered and unfortunately ran out of time.

On a personal note – this was my kind of evening and is more to do with writing and learning writing which is why I joined a writers club.

Excellent evening all in. Everyone had fun and all I can finish with is if you have ever considered joining a writers club then please call us and come along. We’re a harmless bunch – mostly over the age of 50.

Overall it’s a fun night and there’s never a week goes by when you don’t learn something of value.