To summarize, it was agreed that Kathryn had a good initial version of her second chapter.
My personal opinion about what you want out of the first draft of a chapter is that it should:
- Sketch out the major actions in the scene.
- Establish, continue, or expand the tone and style of the story.
- Progress the plot.
- Identify principle characters in the scene and their motivations.
- Lay the foundation for what will happen in later chapters.
- Avoid significant structural problems.
Kathryn's first draft accomplishes all of this. The key phrase here is "first draft". The journey between first draft and final draft is a long one, as I well know. Clutter must be removed, dialogue and descriptions must be added or sharpened, phrases reworded, and so on. It is a lot of work, often it is remarkably difficult, but having a decent first draft does make the process a little easier.
Nicole submitted her latest draft of her first chapter. I have helped her work on that, so I have a better idea than the others in the group about what to expect. To avoid inserting my bias into the mix, I will refrain from further comments about her chapter at this time.
The writing exercises we did were quite fun. We took turns coming up with starting phrases or sentence that we would all write on for about six minutes, then read aloud. The goal is to write quickly, without dithering over details; to let your imagination run free and put your thoughts on paper as fast as possible. I think we all enjoyed the exercises and noticed interesting trends in each other's style. I will not comment upon the others, but for myself it did become clear that, compared to everyone else, I write slower and focus upon rich descriptions with dark themes. (Did I mention I am a fan of classical Gothic horror?)
Nicole served french bread, creamy cheese, a yummy vegetable beef stew, and ice-cream with nuts and chocolate sauce. Thank you Nicole for a great meal.
That pretty much covers the meeting. We are currently scheduled to meet in three weeks on September 7th. Its possible we may have a new person show up for that meeting. Lindy is inviting a friend of hers who has been published.
Party on everyone.