I’ve just finished a novel and requested a proof copy. It’s had multiple iterations of proof-readers, first-readers, comments and such. The proof will go to a completely new reader or two who, no doubt, will have their own views, too. A product of my imagination will be exposed, once more, to a critical gaze and the red/pink squiggles will appear upon it.
My thoughts and writing exposed. Oh dear. A common fear.
There is a twist, however: the exposure goes both ways. As much as your thoughts are exposed by putting them into words, the critiquers thoughts are also exposed by their reaction to the words.
The past few weeks I’ve been happily buried in various writing tasks, though they are distractions to applying late edits to the thriller I am determined to get out in some form. After finishing one SF novellette, I wrote the final episodes in another, serialised, story and then went back to turning the serial into a novellette.
Curiously, I found the changes needed to the episodic story were heavier than I realised.
I have an excellent proof reader and some really good first readers. I am always delighted to see pink marks and observations come back on an early draft (or red, or purple – different pens, different people). I prefer pink pen marks because they stands out so well. For me, it’s not that I’ve failed but that the readers have engaged with what they have read.
And that is a wonderful thing.
I’m going through a late edit of a supposedly finished book and receiving feedback from first readers. Once this is finished, I’ll send it out to fresh readers who have kindly offered to read through it for me.
The first readers have been really useful, honest and straightforward, not just marking up spelling or punctuation mistakes, noting differences between chapters. But it is the edit itself that has been the most interesting to note: a previously relatively minor character has come to the fore and insisted on taking a larger role.
Woohoo! Finally, I have finished my MA at Birmingham. It has been a long journey and a lot of work, but I’m there and, by the look of things, I’ll be getting a distinction – which is wonderful, too. There is too much to say, so I’ve updated my MA Writing page with some comments and reflections. The long and the short of it is: if you are looking for an MA in Writing, seriously consider BCU.
The MA is coming to an end. I’ve had the last (excellent) tutorial and I am working on the three essays and the final submission. It’s a lot of work, of course, but I can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Ironically, finishing the MA in Writing means I can focus on writing much more. 🙂