HAPPY NEW YEAR
14 January 2020
Members' Own Work
Look out for David Bell's new book:
Reds, Rebels and Radicals
Our Thanks to our last speaker:
Shreya Sen Handley
Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing
Never open a book with weather. If it's only to create atmosphere, and not create a character's reaction to the weather, you don't want to go on too long.
Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in.
Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said" ... he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin.
Keep your exclamation marks under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
Avoid detailed descriptions of characters. In Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants, what do the "American and the girl with him" look like? "She had taken off her hat and put it on the table." That's the only reference to a physical description in the story, and yet we see the couple and know them by their tones of voice, with not one adverb in sight.
Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
Elmore Leonard had an additional rule that he regarded as the most important, because it encapsulates all of the other rules:
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
Ashby Writers’ Committee
Chair: Mike Arblaster
Vice-chair: Kate Mallinder
Secretary: Diane Buxton
Treasurer: Samantha Ridgway
Assistant Treasurer: Helen Bralesford
14th Jan manuscript meeting – members’ own work
28th Jan two favourite pieces: Please bring two pieces of writing (poem or
prose, no more than two pages - 500 words) to share with the members.
(ie: not your own work – something you have enjoyed reading).
11th Feb manuscript meeting – members’ own work
25th Feb Annual General Meeting. Review of last year’s activities, Election of officers.
10th Mar manuscript meeting – members’ own work
24th Mar comp: opening 500 words of a novel set locally (Leics/Derbys/Staffs).
14th Apr speaker: Rod Duncan: Rod grew up in Aberystwyth,and was identified as dyslexic at the
age of eight. He made his way through the education system by avoiding writing as far as
possible. Duncan studied Mining Geology in the University of Leicester. He moved to Taiwan in 1989, but returned to Leics in 1993. He is a lecturer at De Montfort University, and
the author of nine novels, many of them in the alternate history/steampunk genre.
28th Apr manuscript meeting – members’ own work
12th May comp: poem/verse on “What a Character!” No more than 30 lines.
26th May manuscript meeting – members’ own work
9th June speaker: Stephen Booth: Stephen is the author of the 18 books in the Ben Cooper/Diane
Fry crime series set in the Peak District, as well as several stand-alone novels. His latest book
“Drowned Lives” features Chris Buckley and is set around the canals of the Lichfield area.
23rd June manuscript meeting – members’ own work
Meetings second and fourth Tuesday of each month, unless otherwise specified 7.30pm-9.30pm at Congregational Church, Kilwardby St, Ashby LE65 2FQ.
See 'Location' tab in menu for how to find us.
Membership £10 per annum
Visitors are welcome at a nominal fee of £4 per speaker meeting, £3 per comp/manuscript meeting (includes coffee or tea)