Ooh, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve been doing birthday celebrations, which have been marvellous, but leave few spoons* for creativity, productivy, or any sort of ivity you care to consider.
Things have been happening in the background though. I’ve had feedback for my second piece for writing short fiction. It was a tricky one for me to write, simply because it was in danger of becoming autobiographical and taking the whole “writing as therapy” thing too far. I trimmed and trawled and wrestled it into a piece that I felt was useful for others to read. Two lines stood opt for me from my feedback. The first was. ‘Your narrator tells this story without mawkishness or self-pity. ‘I was so pleased about this. Mawkishness is the exact thing I strove to avoid in this story, I felt I owed it to the character to create a realistic account, not just a cry for sympathy. The second sliver of joy was in this comment ‘Your character Tina stays with me.’ As my tutor accurately said, this is the exact response I want in a reader.
There are lots of areas for improvement. The narrative voice slips occasionally to sounding too sophisticated for a child, and my punctuation is still rather excitable. I’m so frustrated with the part of me that rushes the proof reading. I find it difficult, but more than that there is an element of me that just wants to get the thing sent and get the feedback. By the time I submit a piece I’ve been working on it for a while, and am keen to move on to the next bit. But, and it’s a big but (I cannot lie), proof reading is an incredibly important part. If a competition judge or submissions editor has two pieces of equal creative merit, how will they choose? On technical skill and precision of language. Therefore, I’ve buried myself in Strunk and White and found the most flamboyant notebook I own to turn into a grammar guru. I hate it. But I need to do it.
In other news, I’m loving my current studies, all about Flash Fiction and I’ve had some cool information from Dynamo, but I think that is for another post. Apologies to all my lovely Beta readers, I have been woefully slack in sending you work. It will be on its way soon, followed by a flurry of flash fiction for feedback. I do love to alliterate.
Thanks for reading, send me your grammar tips and please sign up, follow like and share on Facebook. Your support, interaction and feedback is invaluable.
*find out about spoons and being a spoonie here. I hate labels and little gangs, but this is a handy way to explain an unexplainable life.