Workshop Blog 09/10/23

What was Shakespeare doing Monday?

Well Shakespeare was being the name of the street we hold our meetings at, in the YMCA Plas Newydd centre, and that’s what we do every other Monday (pretty much).

CWC members on the other hand were inside the centre reading and giving feedback.

This Monday at the YMCA we had ten present and a total of six readers. Angela was hoping to come but she tripped on a protruding paving slab and whacked her arm and face. She’s okay but has black eyes and is in rather too much pain to be dispersing Haiku to the thronging masses. At the same time, Steve’s good lady Karen is improving from her meeting with Mister Pavement but brave and determined as she is there is no way Steve is leaving her alone in the house right now. We wish all concerned speedy recoveries and returns to our sessions. (Note: Neither incident was caused or worsened by the imbibing of muscle relaxants of the fermented vegetable and/or grain types.)

First up was David, with the opening of his novel Induction Of Faith (apologies if I have that wrong David) which he began following inspiration from a novel-writing course. This was very good in setting out a character-in-potential-danger and what can they possibly do to avert disaster. The central protagonist currently hasn’t even a clue whether he is in danger or is a much sought after genius, neither does he know where he has been taken nor by whom. A great deal of ‘oo-er missus’ but hopefully the fog will be lifted in the next few readings. Good start David.

Gill then gave us the opening of her novel/memoir/retelling based on information from her father and others, as well as a significant amount of research. Old Acquaintance is based on British conscription in the early 1950s, and just prior to the Suez crisis I believe. This was well-written and researched and Gill managed to catch some of the sense of inevitability alongside the humdrum everyday issues people faced. Bet there’s going to be something nasty happening soon. More please Gill.

Another novel/story based on historical research and personal information is the one Kim has been reading for some time. This reading we were taken into a meeting of one of the young left-wing groups Kim is telling us about, and as he read the words you could almost be there. A natural story-teller is quite rare but we are lucky to have so many in our midst. More please Kim. It’s great and we sense even greater things are about to shoot from your pen in the next few pages.

Next up was Liam with the continuation of his fantasy/magical/realism/detective story. Let’s say urban fantasy making good use of the vernacular. Liam is a really funny writer and he also gives us a magician-detective who is rather incompetent and who gets punched in the face by big men. Another great teller of tales and this is a great tale to tell. More please sir.

Graham followed this with the next part of his tale of IRA terrorists, police corruption, chemical weapons, and a farm on which a young child has died through the carelessness of the terrorists. Although well researched this is not a recollection of actual events though it is set in the 80s/90s. Tension is building and we shall soon be at the point where things change (hopefully for the better) and the hero’s size twelves make heavy contact with the bad guy’s nether regions. Graham confessed to having accidentally deleted the wrong file(s) on his computer, and needing to re-write much of this story. Luckily he succeeded and we shall be hearing the ending in the not-too-distant future. Phew.

Last to read was Matt, with the next section of his fandabbydozy Stained-Glass Cat children’s story, in which Louse the abandoned kitten is nearly in the clear but the Malefant stops him from getting into his possible sanctuary. But Louse fights back by admitting the things he is afraid of, each time reducing the Malefant in size and ferocity, until at the very end he defeats the monster and his friends the Stained-Glass Cat and the Something-In-The-Ivy are freed. Our hero kitten is now free to find his forever home, and the book will soon be over. This extremely well-written and brilliantly inventive tale has to be released to the world Matt. We shall have three or four published authors in our midst very soon.

Although we only had six readings this week compared to ten last week, this was mainly down to the length and depth of not only the readings but the feedback as well. Everyone was animated and engaged, and that’s what we are all about. Well done everyone, readers and feedback givers alike.

Please be aware that we may need to postpone the article/review competition, owing to some unexpected issues. If so, we shall probably bring the flash fiction competition forward a little. Hope to confirm details by next week.

Take care all, and if I haven’t mentioned it before, we are on ZOOM next Monday (16th). Here is the link:

Bestest all, P.

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