Wednesday, 14 September 2011

New, Newer & Newest

New Voices, New Writer's Scheme, new book - it's all about the new this autumn. Sadly the theme doesn't extend to a cute new blazer and a perfect pair of new boots.
well, okay, maybe one pair of boots But, what with competitions and critique, I probably have all the new I can handle. As you all know New Voices launched yesterday and there are already over 60 new chapters for people to read, comment on and rate. If you're not registered go ahead and get stuck in; the most helpful thing for all writers is constructive comments - what works, what doesn't and why. And, with only 20 finalists, those comments will be what most entrants take away from this competition. I haven't posted yet despite wanting to get in early on. My chapter just isn't ready, it's lacking a certain spark, a sense of purpose and, after 24 hours of increasing hysteria for me and increasing impatience from my poor, over worked crit partners it was agreed I would take a break for a few days and go in for a rewrite on Friday *drums fingers impatiently on the table*. Not that the imbargo has stopped me thinking about my chapter. Not. At. All. Sadly inspiration has yet to strike.
The main reason for my impatience (apart from the fact that I am naturally impatient) is that I received my NWS critique for 'Summer Fling' on Friday and now am desperate to start editing - but can't until my New Voices chapter begins to sparkle. Part of me is wondering whether to put the new chapter aside for a while and submit 'Summer Fling' to New Voices instead (cue much angst, stress and pushing of crit partners and husband to breaking point). One of the two NWS readers actually suggested I do enter it - and at some point I do need to show it to new eyes. I was lucky enough to get two readers and whoever you are, thank you. Thank you so so much. I have a huge edit job in front of me with a lot of rewriting especially of the last third but your comments, encouragements have inspired me and given me the confidence to think maybe I can actually do this. What has particularly amazed me is how much they picked up - the good, the bad and the embrassingly ugly. Helpfully, there were bits they disagreed on, which is exactly what critique in the big, bad world will be like. Interestingly it's the less positive that sticks in your mind. There was a real sense that they knew my characters as well as I do, cared about them and rooted for them. Some edited comments: The good... This was a rattling good read aimed with fair accuracy at the M&B softer romance market, and I gulped it down in one sitting. It had pacey writing, plenty of good sharp dialogue, attractive hero and heroine and well handled back story... Congratulations on writing a sweet, funny and entertaining romance. You have a great voice and the story was a pleasure to read. The not so good... Reader 1: Everyone is so dammed nice! You allowed the story to become too cosy, too predictable. The 'I hoped they wouldn't notice that...' A bigger problem however is the lack of real conflict outside of the personal issue of will they, won't they get back together.

1 comment:

Julia Broadbooks said...

I think New Voices has spawned a rash of doubts and second guessing. You're certainly not alone in your questions. Don't worry we'll all figure it out, on way or another.