December 17 2014 minutes

Date: December 17 2014

Time: 7:00 PM to 8:35 PM

Location: High Prairie Public Library


  • Eathel Carmichael

  • Rusty

  • G W Thomas

  • C S Burgar

  • Brian Hill

Meeting Notes:

Open the meeting, 7:10 PM by Rusty


G W Thomas will moderate the next meeting group discussion: Plots

Also as a group we confirmed an agreement on membership expansion, setting our rough guideline on membership numbers to around eight full time members. We are fine staying with six, we are open to a few new members joining.

Group discussion: “Do you think it is ever too late to write?”

Question was put forth and a general discussion started.

A second question brought up, was, how a writer writes a short story.

Initial discussion was to consider how long a short story is. The group came to the conclusion that it depends on the publication printing the story and the author. The more famous the author the more leeway they have in length of their story. Discussed several publications and examples were, from 500 to 10.000 words with around 3,000 to 8,000 common. Most publications trying to keep the stories to less than 5,000 words.

Writing a short story is a challenge as most in our group find when they have a story it comes out long, editing smaller is difficult. GW presented to the group that to learn to write a shorter piece, try writing Micro Fiction pieces of less than, either, 500 words or 100 words, to train ourselves to tell a story in as few words as possible.

Plot and structure were discussed with our consensus being to keep to one primary plot with only one or two subplots.

Try being brief but building the setting enough to tell the story without losing the reader in confusion.

Another suggestion was to just simply blurt out everything in writing, without limit or editing, then when the story is recorded, edit to a short story appropriate to the situation desired for print.

Discussed methods reported of other author’s style and methodology of writing.

Which brought us back to the age question. Comparing writers to musicians. Writers can seem to perform at any age once they learn the basics of the craft, whereas musician seem to have a shelf life, needing to achieve popularity before thirty and most fall from popularity after around thirty years age. Where, on the other end, a writer can proliferate even in their eighties and older.

Many writers gain popularity after fifty years. That in fact, writers continue to improve their skills with maturity, getting better as they practice the craft.

Short story writers seem to be prolific throughout their career, it is generally recognized by the group that writers change style, format, even genre as they mature in their writing. Writers are almost continually shifting their focus.

Consensus of the group being it is never too late to write and practice the craft. Recognizing that our desire changes as we age, in our types of work we write, that most authors simply write because of a need to express themselves.

Peer review:

7:47 pm

Author: Eathel Carmichael

Piece: “Princess of the Animals: Chapter Two”

Review: Level 5

A brief discussion discovered the group was confused as to which piece was being reviewed of Eathel’s, most were not prepared to review this piece at this meeting.

With each member now having the proper piece, the review is tabled to next meeting.

Author: C S Burgar

Piece: ?


C S had not submitted her piece, as she had a few questions for the group regarding what direction she should pursue.

C S was given feedback and she handed us a piece four pages long to review.

Review was tabled to next meeting.

C S asked for a level 5 brutal review.

Piece title: The Fingertip of God: Book 1

Author: Rusty

Piece: “Sky Doll birds”

Review: Level 5

Rusty had prepared a filler piece submitted in the previous week.

Group nominated to do a peer review of the work today.

Feedback was generally positive.

The writing is marred by a few punctuation errors, but overall it is fun to read, one grammar issue noted.

A suggestion was to use fewer adverbs, also to use less information setting up the mystery, to draw in readers to question the reality. Both comments were noted by their presenter as personal preference when they read and write.

The group found it is a good piece for humour, it is known to be part of the ongoing story and was found to be a side break relieving the reader momentarily from focus on the larger whole story.

The setting was slightly bare but as the group read previous work in the setting, they found this was adequate.  But if it were a standalone piece they would want more back setting.

End of reviews: 8:26 PM

As this was also our year end, and Christmas meeting, we all brought snacks, gathering an assortment of cookies and cupcakes to consume during the meeting.

After peer review we had our Chinese gift exchange. We started with Brian and worked counter clockwise around the room.

C S didn’t bring a gift, but Eathel brought an extra, so it worked out fine and we were all happy to include C S in the gift exchange.

In closing, we set the next two meetings for:

January 21 2015:

  • Eathel Carmichael, “Princess of the Animals: Chapter Two”

  • C S Burgar, “The Fingertip of God: Book 1”

February 11 2015:

  • G W Thomas, to be submitted

  • Brian Hill, to be submitted

This weeks recommended reading: none

Meeting adjourned at 8:35 PM