Thursday 22 August 2013

Having Someone Critique Your Words

It's been a while since I've written about my NaNo project. That's because it's been a while since I've looked at it. My schedule is keeping my quite busy and I just don't have any time to write for pleasure, let alone go over my manuscript once more, just in case I have a brainwave that'll make everything magically perfect.

So when the chance presented itself to offer my novel(ish) to someone for a critiquing, I thought: why not. Seriously. I've gone over it, I'm a bit stuck and I'm pressed for time anyway. I know it isn't perfect, I am aware that it might never be a publishable book in the sense that it's too bland or unoriginal, but anything I can learn from it, will teach me how to write my next story. Right?

At first I was terrified. I didn't receive any response right away, and even though my lovely reader probably has a life of her own with an equally busy schedule, the first thought is: OMG, it really is that bad...

I asked her for a smallish update, just to tell me if she'd even gotten round to it (and it was that awful) of if she'd just been busy. Well, she did have a lot on her plate, but she also said that there would be A LOT OF NOTES coming my way.

For a day or so, I was peeved. I know I hadn't given it another read-through before e-mailing it to her, but you do still assume that your creation, your baby, your document full of words is nearly perfect. (You can look at me cross-eyed all you like, but you know you feel that same inkling of confidence underneath the mountains of self-doubt.) So when someone reading through your work says there will be a lot of notes, you're startled. You get defensive. You go into a 'yeah, but...' mode.

A few days later, however, I changed my mind. Whatever she could say about my novel(ish) would help me make it better. Would help me in creating a new piece, whenever time and inspiration allows me. I'm not a full-time writer, I know that there was some essential ingredient of excitement missing in my text, and I did already admit I was a bit stuck. So... anything she can say about it will either help me or help me think about it, or if it's really nonsense I can ignore it. Yes, that is a luxury I can afford as well. There's no publisher waiting to smack me over the head with a deadline, after all. Not in this case, anyway.

So yeah. It's exciting. In a nerve-wrecking final exam kind of way. And I'm actually quite curious what she might say or suggest. Is the whole idea even viable as a novel or is there no way I can turn it into a less predictable story? (I mean, I've been working on a book that's anything but surprising and actually long-winded and a bit dreadfully written, and that made it to a publisher and out into the world...) Would my future free time be better spent on a second attempt, or is this just a diamond in the really rough (it's an expression, I for one doubt that Feather's story is a diamond to begin with. Maybe a more common stone...)?

I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile... (do you also always see Fran Drescher's Nanny in your mind's eye when you use that word, going all nasal on you?) I have a translation to finish. More than one, even. So... Ta!

Thursday 8 August 2013

Author Jessica Fortunato on Sacrifice

Hi Jessica, thanks for doing a Q&A with me as part of your blog tour for Sacrifice, your second Sin Collectors novel! First question: are you a vampire? (Okay, that only makes sense if you've seen her author bio.) But do tell us a little bit about yourself!
Thank you for having me! As for my mortality, I like to keep people guessing.

You've published The Sin Collector last year, novel one of the series, followed by the novella Thomas. Is that an extra or a must-read in order to understand Sacrifice?
You could probably get away with skipping Thomas, however I wouldn’t recommend it. The novella includes more detail into the rites of Sin Collectors as well as hinting at many of the aspects of Sacrifice. In addition, you first meet Emmilina, one of the new main characters in Sacrifice!

Read the entire interview with Jess HERE on my website, where you can also find all sorts of contact information to follow her on social media or buy her books.