October was a busy month for our writers but many managed to make THREE meetings! Our meet-ups were busy with critiques, writing prompts, lessons and lots of discussion. Thank goodness we have such a versatile group and were able to fit it all in nicely.
Things started off with Paul’s first novel submission and critique. As this was only our second novel to review, it was quite brave of Paul to put his up for scrutiny. He definitely set the bar high for the rest of us as he handled the critique session, which ran too long (completely my fault) with utter patience and gratitude. Congratulations to him for taking another step forward in the writing process and working on his rewrite. We are all learning a great deal from this process!
Another interesting topic was our character analysis discussion. Character development is crucial in novel writing but also difficult to do sometimes. We filled out character profiles and wrote stories from the character writing prompt list which we shared during a meeting. We have some really creative writers and not only were entertained but also given some good advice from our more experienced authors. Please take a look at a few of these stories under our creative writing submissions tab.
October brought the beginning of a recurring lesson on how to analyze your writing. This has been led by Dennis who has put in some extra time for our Bayou Writers and given us some great information along with handouts! In our first lesson we discussed the three elements of a story; Plot, Characters and Drama. We broke down the differences between a novel and a short story. Then last but not least, we discussed the rules of Narrative (show don’t tell) and Dialog (be specific and precise) which is still a discussion in progress. We will try to get the handouts posted on the blog bulletin board soon.
Another treat for October was our first glimpse at Allen’s manuscript. He brought in his first two chapters (or first two days of Hurricane Katrina) for us to critique. We have implemented a few rules such as timing each person’s response so we don’t run too long. We are not allowed to repeat comments that have already been made about the manuscript. Once everyone has had a turn to speak then we open up for a fifteen minute discussion where even the author can participate. Allen’s short piece worked perfectly for this format. It was honest, useful and positive for all. He did an amazing job. Congratulations to Allen on his work so far!
Needless to say it was a busy month for us and things don't seem to be slowing down as we approach the holiday season! We continue to welcome new members and look forward to them joining our humble meetings. You don’t want to miss out because we have some new and exciting things coming soon for the BWC!
As always, it is incredibly inspiring to spend a couple of hours with new friends and discuss writerly things. I am looking forward to seeing everyone Thursday!
Until then... Happy Writing,