Thursday, April 22, 2010


Ah, readers. What joy is this that brings them like flocks to any writer who wants to be read?

I'm not talking about being put in print and becoming a bestseller - that would be fantastic, but that's not what I'm talking about. Indeed there are many ways to get readers to your work.

But the readers I'm talking about in particular are those I've had experience with: people I know by degrees.

When I wrote my first book, my entire family read the book, or at least parts of it, and I got good reviews, which is pretty much to be expected. Then I shared some of my writing on the internet, and I got good reviews, which is less expected. Then I started going to a class on writing, and we've only shared one piece so far, but mine was received glowingly. I have fans in these people I hardly know. I wasn't even that proud of that piece - but it was good enough, and I made people happy to read it. Many a lively discussion was wrought of the fire of my words.

But then we have the anomaly, which I treasure. I sent a complete novella to a fellow writer on the internet, who had requested it, and she came back with advice for me. Particularly, she sees merit in my story, but found herself not liking the characters, and indeed she thought they all sounded the same. All of this is stuff I can work on - and I will - but what I cherish is that I finally have some constructive criticism.

Granted, this writer had only read the first 3 chapters of the novella, but the problems she found would be present throughout. And the funny thing is, this novella was the shortest work I'd done, but with all the editing I'll have to do to make my characters sound unique and have them be likeable, well, chances are it's going to get longer, and maybe even reach the length of a novel.

But one thing I am proud of: I seem to have a knack for plots. The only feedback I've had either liked my plot in book one, or saw merit in the plots of books 3 and 4. So I feel confident about my plot-making skills, even though my characterisation skills leave something to be desired. But, and here's what I hope for, there's a fair chance that all I'll ever need is 2 drafts of something - the first to get the plot down and get all the pieces in place, the second to do proper characterisation.

And as I get better at inserting characterisation after the fact, then surely I'll get better at putting it into the first draft right alongside my plot.

So I sit here, thinking, "Gee, I might actually get somewhere with this." And that's the best news I've heard in a while.

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