Wednesday, February 14, 2007

And the scores on the doors...

On Saturday the group met at Sue's new flat in Canonbury (very nice! the sort of London district familiar to Arthur Machen, I believe), as our local haunts in Fitzrovia were double-booked with the usual problem of salsa classes etc.

I unveiled the new beginning I wrote in early January in Inverie and got a largely good response. Absolutely no-one liked the first two (lengthy!) paragraphs describing our hero Jacob's walk through his home town of Enkhuizen, and I was subjected to a Comfy Chair experience in which Lindsay asked me to remind him of his 6 golden rules of How to Begin a Novel. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember any except for pace (which I failed at) and a hook (which came far too late).

He was good enough in his wisdom to remind me of the other four points that I forgot: have a strong image; show human interest; indicate the style of the whole thing and also hint at the overall themes. In fact, come to think of it, I did more or less make it on the style and themes front, but I did indeed fall down on the image and human interest elements, which only kicked in after the first two paragraphs were history.

So... I cut the opening paras, and it's a lot better. Thank the Divine Powers for writing groups, supportive feedback, and Sages from Frome.

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