Wednesday 15th September 2016
Jacey Bedford writes: After wild weather on Monday and low cloud on Tuesday this morning’s early sun on the lake was a welcome change. Blue sky above and low, autumnal mist beginning to burn off.
Day five already and the crit sessions are going well. Five crits each afternoon may not seem like much until you realise how intensive they are. The Milford method of critique gives every person a turn to deliver their views (timed to 4 minutes each) and then the writer being critted gets uninterrupted right of reply. Crits are thorough but fair and always constructive. Both giving and receiving critique is surprisingly exhausting. We’ve now done three full days, with two more to go, so we’re past the halfway point.Much has been discussed and much chocolate consumed (for medicinal purpose only, you understand.)
So this morning I’m skipping off into Caernarfon, just 9 miles away, with Terry and Liz C. It’s just a brief change of scenery before another crit session this afternoon.
Two hours later: just back from Caernarfon where the huge castle looms over a modest town centre filled with small cafes, Welsh tourist gifts (any amount of things with red dragons on them) and a few charity shops.
On the drive back we pulled over for the perfect photo opportunity. Looking up the Nantlle Valley to Mount Snowdon in the distance.
Glen Mehn writes Guy and I were up bright and early in order to walk up and over Mynydd Mawr – one of the local peaks. After huffing and puffing up we were faced with a scree-fuelled downslope and the danger of getting lost in a quarry, but we managed to get back just in time for lunch.
I think we’re all going to put on a kilo being here, the food is so very good.
The afternoon was round four of crits – including one of mine. I received some excellent feedback on a story I’ve been working on for four years – most of which were just the sort of thing that cracked the sticky problems with the story. I’ve had writing crits before but the quality and the breadth of critiques on offer this week has been well above the average standard.
Amy Tibbetts writes: Unusual weather in Wales today – clear skies and very hot. I put my feet in Lake Nantlle. Later, I received helpful feedback on my novel in progress, including that I should change the title to a word that is actually pronouncible, and that I should hurry up and finish it!
Guy T Martland writes: Lesbian daemon killers… Chocolate filled with prions… Aliens who drink Ouzo… It’s not all work, work, work. Today, I climbed a mountain called Mynydd Mawr with fantastic views over Snowdonia (as Glen mentioned earlier), and then post critting, dived into lake Nantlle for a brief swim. I’m sure there is a beastie in the lake. It could be Other.
David Allan speaking, well writing (or even typing) if you want to be picky. The day started with a glorious sunrise with mist over the lake glowing gold.
Then the day got picky when the critiques started. That’s not a problem because its exactly what you want and get from Milford. The pickiness is built in but it’s not evil, in fact it’s incredibly beneficial. My second piece was one of the victims today. So many ideas were thrown in my direction that my head is spinning with possibilities. The novel has got to be better as a result.
Jim Anderson writes: Me and my big mouth. Again. I have now found myself on the Milford Committee, with the title Most Egregious Token Male. I will endeavour to serve the Committee with the whole of my heart, but it does require me being up at half eight tomorrow morning for my first Committee meeting. Alas.
But as always, it’s been a superb week and I am enormously glad to have been part of the group. Good writers and good pieces that we have all worked to improve, and I’m looking forward to the comments on my second piece tomorrow.
Lizzy Priest writes: I have learned so much this week: how to fix my story, and also tea exists that tastes like curry. Also, you can’t curry a horse. At least in England. You can curry a horse in America. (If you use a rubber comb)
Well you can curry a horse if it’s the old horsemeat crisis, but the food here is ridiculously locally sited. I think the cow was probably in the field out behind the kitchens when we have lasagne.
I’d probably have made more progress editing my story if I wasn’t in a food coma every few hours.
I have to sign off now because someone has cracked out the whiskey!