13 November 2018
Share a couple of your favourite short pieces of writing.
Our thanks to Dr Ann Featherstone for her talk on
The Victorian Music Hall
(Kate Malinder's new book has a 2019 publication date.)
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: Mark Taylor
Secretary: Diane Buxton
Treasurer: Samantha Ridgway
Assistant Treasurer: Helen Bralesford
Members’ Representatives: Steve
Bull & Henry Sharples
9th Jan: manuscript meeting – members’ own work
23rd Jan: speaker: Steve Bull: illustrated talk on “Burton and Ashby Tramways”
13th Feb: manuscript meeting – members’ own work
27th Feb: Meeting: cancelled because of bad weather.
13th Mar: AGM (possible followed by readings of winning items (1st, 2nd, 3rd) from 2017
27th Mar: speaker: M P Wright, novelist and tv scriptwriter.
Mark has been a roadie, a private investigator and a risk assessor
10th Apr: manuscript meeting – members’ own work
24th Apr: speaker: Rod Duncan: “Queen of All Crows.”
8th May: comp: poem with a canal theme. Up to 30 lines.
22nd May: manuscript meeting – members’ own work
12th June: speaker: Chris Collett, crime novelist
26th June: manuscript meeting – members’ own work
10th July speaker: Kate Mallinder. “The intermittent blogger; one writer’s experience of blogging.” Kate’s first book “Summer of No Regrets” is to be published early in 2019.
24th July manuscript meeting – members’ own work
14th Aug speaker: Jane Adams, novelist. Author of 30+ crime novels, and lecturer in
creative writing at at DMU. Jane’s latest series is set in the 1920s. A previous
featured Naomi Blake, a blind ex-detective.
28th Aug manuscript meeting – members’ own work
11th Sept speaker: Les Baynton. An evening of comic verse. Les is a retired Derby
headmaster. Two of his poetry collections have been sponsored by (a) his
local pub and (b) a Derby brewery!
25th Sept comp: Flash fiction. 300 (+/-5) word story set (at least partly) in a tavern.
9th Oct manuscript meeting – members’ own work
23rd Oct speaker: Dr Ann Featherstone. “The Victorian Music Hall.” Ann writes on 19th
century popular entertainment, circuses, theatres, etc, and is the author of two
historical novels. She has been a guest expert (twice) on Who Do You Think
You are, and several tv documentaries. She is a retired university lecturer.
13th Nov 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).
27th Nov manuscript meeting – members’ own work
11th Dec meal at The Beeches
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)