02 January, 2011
And the Re-write Begins Here...
Back in November, I sent off the first 12 000 words of the novel to The Writer's Workshop to be critiqued by a professional author and was lucky enough to be assigned Sam Mills. It was a big decision, due to the expense of professional critiques, but I am so glad I risked it. I learned more about writing in reading Sam's report than I could have taught myself in a decade of muddling through. She was encouraging but did not sugar-coat her words. It was not her job to make me feel good but to tell me that I have some serious work to do, particularly around the whole area of structure. A lot of what she said were things that deep down I already knew, but it took someone completely impartial to give me a kick up the backside. It is not necessarily easy to give your work to someone to tear apart and criticise and I wondered how I would take the report, but when it arrived it only made me excited to get re-writing. Her criticisms were spot on, the things she liked were encouraging and the suggestions she made were interesting. Most importantly of all, I had been "marketing" my book as a Young Adult novel when it's actually for the 8-12 age group. This is a crucial bit of information to get right when approaching agents.
So, bring on the re-write! The next few weeks will involve reading another book for the same age group (probably Northern Lights as that's already in my bookcase) and studying the structure of the plot, then re-reading the draft of my own novel, ripping it apart at the seams and putting it back together again. I have a lot of planning to do, but I love planning so I will be in my element!