Friday, December 18, 2009

Third Thursday Recap

It was a spirited meeting, which welcomed yet two more new members -- Katie Kuhn and Billy Neery, and the return of 2/3 of the previous months newcomers -- Ann Marie and Cynthia (see previous post for predictions...). The group is once again growing, putting previous worries about membership aside. I only am impressed with the way the membership interacts, perhaps returning to, and perhaps exceeding, the proficiency and insightfulness of two years ago. We retain a number of veterans -- Kay, Zack, Brian, Joe, and me, with two newly seasoned members in Michelle and Sandy. All in all, a good bunch, with different interests, backgrounds, and talents.

So onward. We read the first three pages of Zack's sci-fi piece, of which he has 11o already written. I'm sure his submissions will come fast and furious and I only hope we as readers can keep up. Despite questions about the piece, it is a solid start. Sandy submitted a Thanksgiving essay that shows promise, perhaps even as two essays. Given some meat (sorry!), it will be a full-fledged essay with more depth than her rushing-to-meet-deadline submission allowed. Joe then read aloud another section for his memoir, I think in some ways proving my point about how reading a piece changes the way it is accepted. Still, on-the-fly suggestions were made and hopefully prove useful. Joe has so many wonderful memories about a bygone era, it's hard to keep track of them all.

The GFWG is plowing ahead with its new meeting schedule come next month. Some kinks and bugs were worked out at the last night's get together. Hopefully any to come will be solved with the same consensus and efficiency.

Next meeting -- three weeks, January 7th, 7pm, at Crandall Library. I am very excited by this change and believe that we, as a group, are up to this new, blistering pace!


Anonymous said...

John, I wanted to follow up on the reading a piece out loud is a poor way to work out its bugs from the previous blog post. This is worth pursuing for me because I obviously break the rule and must suffer for it. Any thoughts and pointers will be appreciated - I have enhanced "Breakfast Turkey" and am working on another section from the holiday writing. Putting it all together might be the challenge!

John Briggs said...

I think the general rule for reading a piece out loud is whether it's intended to be read out loud. If it's meant to be performed, it should be treated that way, and if meant for print (as opposed to online), it should be read that way, too. Both the eye and the ear can be fooled by the look and sound of words. Some people disagree with that, but I strictly adhere to it. When I was doing stand-up regularly, the bits looked different on paper (and were generally never as funny) w/o inflection and pacing, etc. My voice made the difference. That's why I'm against reading a piece out loud (for editing purposes) if it's ultimately meant to be read on paper and not performed.

All I can say is everyone works differently. Work whichever way is best for you. In our group, the author reads her work, but I've seen others where they make another member read it aloud, so the author can learn how someone else sees it. So many ways to go about this--all I can say is experiment. You're going to find the way that works best for you!

(BTW, you have a good comic eye. It will just keep getting sharper and sharper...)


Brian said...

In general, I don't read my work out loud. The main exception, unless of course I'm working on a play, is if I'm struggling to put a thought into coherent words on paper (or computer screen) and then sometimes I'll read it aloud to see if it gets the point across without sacrificing the flow. But generally, I'm with you: don't read it aloud unless the final product is intended so.