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My book – or attempt so far

08/02/2010

A few years back I had a lightbulb moment.

Like many other women, on sharing moments from my past, I kept hearing the words, ‘You should write a book!’ and after hearing this many times I thought to myself – ‘Maybe I should, no harm in trying.’

So, I have been bashing words on the PC, on and off for two years, and have about 40 odd pages. It all needs tidying up and putting together properly but I was quite proud of myself for having reached such a good point after so many years of wanting to do this. Even though I still have not concluded this masterpiece yet.

I realised it was time to ask somebody to read it if I was to take it any further and that’s when I took my good friend on her word to ask her to have a quick look after her saying she’d be up for it on New Year’s Eve. Only then would I know if it was worth carrying on or just giving up completely and moving on to something more achievable.

I only sent her the first chapter as there is so much work to be done on the rest and I didn’t want to overwhelm her. After all if she liked it I could always send her the next bit and so on.

Once I’d hit the send button that Friday, my ego started to imagine how much she’d love it and come back gushing with – ‘It’s brilliant! I loved it. It’s going to be a smash hit.’

But Monday came and there was no reply.

Oh well she must be busy and not realise I’m sitting here, with my confidence soon to be in tatters, WAITING.

A week went by.

Maybe she didn’t like it and doesn’t know how to tell me? Maybe it’s brilliant but not her thing? Maybe it’s terriible and I don’t stand a chance?

I had mentioned on the email, to be honest with me and not let me go ahead and make a fool of myself. Was she struggling with that?

Two weeks. Three.  And then a reply popped in my inbox…

…Sorry for the delay in getting back to you!  I won’t waffle on as I’m no expert (a big reader on her daily commute in and out of London) on these things but here are my main thoughts. I’m going to be completely honest so I hope you won’t be upset with me!!! Uh-oh!
 
1. The idea is good (positive) and could make an interesting read I think.  It kind of reminds me of Jodi Picoult novels which are my favourite. Nice comparison! Ego refluffed up a bit.
2. I think it needs to be organised so that you don’t jump backwards and forwards so much as it’s quite hard to keep up with what happened when.
3. The way you say things needs to be written differently and I think this is where the writers blog etc will come in good use.  I know what you are saying throughout  all but for it to come across in a book the English needs to be altered.  Help! Where do I start with that?
I hope this doesn’t come across as too harsh. No, never. thank you very much for the feedback 😉

Feedback! And very helpful indeed but I’m stuck! What should I do first? I suppose the timing is a good place.

This story is based on my own experiences and I have noted re-reading it that I pop in throughout the tale and relay my current thoughts on things that happened 20 years ago. I can see her point saying it’s confusing the reader.

So back to the drawing board for me, well not quite but seems I won’t be publishing a Bestseller-Soon-To-Be-Translated-Into-24-Languages this year!

If you do have any helpful comments, websites or help, please let me know as I’d like to complete this project just so I’m not 80 one day wishing I’d had the courage to do it.

PS I’m approaching 44 fast so would like to get a move on!

Mari xx

photo – flickr by zetson http://www.flickr.com/photos/zetson/3036254720/

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 08/02/2010 2:06 pm

    Is this a memoir? If so there’s some really good books on memoir writing that may come in useful with tips on how to deal with flashbacks and tying up stories, weaving timelines, etc. I recommend you look at Amazon.co.uk (and Amazon.com–memoir writing is a fast expanding genre in the States) and you’ll get some (mostly) useful reviews on books.

    44 or 64 it doesnt matter how old you are, dont rush it! And dont panic! but equally, do sit down and work on it all the time. Discipline, not panic, is the key to getting this thing out.

    Next, write, write, write. Write for your blog, write for other blogs/websites, write short stories. Practice your craft all the time and you’ll more easily see what the reader sees and you will more easily edit your work. Really. Writing the short stories will help you focus and get to the point more quickly. Nothing more boring and put-downable than a meandering story that never quite gets to the point!

    And read a lot. In the genre you want to write in.

    Have you written an outline to guide your writing? Do you have a plot? If you have a plot, view the plot as the backbone. Then look at everything else you have and if it doesn’t connect to the backbone in a meaningful way, then it is useless. Get rid of it. Cutting out the extra stuff will help you get to where you need to be more effectively as well!

    Hope these ideas help!

    • 08/02/2010 2:20 pm

      Thank you so much, I’m off to check out Amazon right now 😉

      Memoir? Autobiography?
      A section of my life that I think could be good reading material for other women. Let’s hope so!
      Thank you once again

  2. 08/02/2010 9:25 pm

    Fantastic–best of luck and looking forward to updates…!

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