I’ve been very fortunate to get to sample more than a few of Jason Nahrung’s short stories in their formative stages due to our mutual membership of the SuperNOVA writers group, and to say that I admire and envy his mastery of the short form would be an understatement. Here, he talks about his experiences with another group, and another form.
Something funny happened on the way to the writers retreat
Once, I belonged to a writers’ group in Brisbane. We met at workshops, bonded, forged friendships, critiqued the hell out of each other’s work. Hungry to push our skills, we imported tutors for annual retreats (detailed here). Three years in a row, from 2007, we went to Bribie Island, where a government conference centre provided isolation near the beach, comfortable hotel-style rooms and three meals a day, with plenty of space on the deck for group meetings and one-on-one critiques.
That’s where the bloodletting happened. Three years in a row, I fronted up with my new manuscript, and three years in a row it got staked through the heart. Illogical world building, insufficient character motivations, too complex. Continue reading