Skip to content


Summer Readaround – 5th July 2023

The third summer read-around provided another varied selection of work to be enjoyed, analysed and discussed. We had an article about the accidental discovery of a dusty, Victorian photograph album. Who were these people? In one photograph, a rare medal showed that its wearer had fought in the American Civil War, for heaven’s sake! Could that be a clue to identity? More research ongoing.

In contrast to the last read-around’s ‘pantster ’novelists, this evening’s novelist is clearly a ‘plotter.’ The first chapter of the second book in a proposed trilogy had us intrigued. We discussed the difficulty of judging the right amount of back-story required for the new reader to understand what’s going on, without boring the pants off those who have read the first book – a tricky balance.

Another tricky problem is the dreaded synopsis. Comments on my attempt came up with some useful advice:-

  • Don’t put in a question. The ‘will she/ won’t she?’ question is for the blurb. In the synopsis, you’re supposed to show that you know what’s going on (even if you don’t!)
  • Don’t lose your characteristic ‘voice’ in an attempt to pare it down. (Noted.)

An extract from a self help book, showing ways to access your ‘happy hormones,’ was well received. The light touch with scientific information, so as not to overwhelm the reader, was well judged. We felt there was a good market for this, but a snappy title was required.

Finally, an evocative memoir piece, about searching for the perfect house in rural Italy, made a soothing end to the evening. In relation to this piece, it was pointed out that the non-fiction book prize at S.A.W (Scottish Association of Writers) next year would be for memoir.

Be sure to ‘Zoom in’ to our next on-line gathering on 19th July. Even if you don’t want to share any of your work, come along anyway. You’ll definitely be entertained and who knows what vital nugget of information you may pick up along the way!

Maggie Bolton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *