Saturday, 24 March 2007


A fresh batch of weekly stories posted today for us to critique using the shadowy creation known as "the grid" - so when you hear people saying "I thought this was an 85 but the ending made it a 94", basically, the higher the score the better the story.

Maximum (theoretical) is 250. Mortal maximum is about 210.

Being learners, we stand underneath the glass ceiling of 120, poking it with sticks and swearing at it. Occasionally someone might post a "Luvvit", a vastly inflated score, giving us false hope that this story, THIS STORY, is the one, the breakthrough, the whole ball game - and then seven others pile in to send it crawling back into the rocks, and we are mere bleeding mortals again. Until next Friday's deadline, when once more we tilt at glory.

It's interesting to see what other people make of your stories. It's not for the faint-hearted, but by critiquing other stories, we learn what works and what doesn't work in our own. Absorb the craft and write unconsciously, is the mantra.

Or drunk.

It can be tough when your story gets shoe'd all over the workshop floor, but it's just a story. It's not the author. We rebuild and come back better for it.

In the wider world, it is a day of sporting calamity - England will lose to Kenya later, and Israel. They call me Jonah, and this is why.

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