I love the pink pen

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.

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Fun with editing

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.

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Finished – taking a new path

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.

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A busy time…

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. 🙂

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A path through unsullied snow

I know, it’s been a long time since the last post. That’s because of a whole range of real life issues, one of which was cutting open my hand due to this annoying nerve problem. It is an example of one of the hiccups that have to be factored into Pain Management: prioritisation. ‘I-want-to-write-a-post’ becomes ‘I-really-need-to’ and doesn’t quite make it into the ‘I-must’ category as it is pushed out by stories, essays and commentaries I am actually writing whilst in added pain.

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An inspiring afternoon: Kit de Waal

I drove up to BCU this week for an ICCW afternoon session with Kit de Waal and a tutorial for my MA. I also took the opportunity to spend some catch-up time with some people I respect and admire – Nafisa, a talented writer I met on the MA, and my MA-notetaker-turned-critical-reader, Saima. With both Saima and Nafisa, it was time well spent and I have to give a great deal of thanks for their support, friendship and encouragement. It was also well worth the face-to-face tutorial with the fantastic Anna Lawrence-Pietroni, though I have brought away a chapter that is absolutely covered with pink notes and comments.

But it was Kit de Waal’s talk that was the richly-decorated, marzipan-and-fondant icing on an otherwise very productive and inspiring 24 hours (we’ll forget the pain). Kit was talking about Flash Fiction as well as her writing process as a whole – 1.5 hours roughly split between the two. As she has won the Bridport Prize for Flash Fiction two years in a row, she is worth listening to.

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