Friday 7 April 2017

Writing in bloom

Life has overtaken the blog recently. Which is a good thing, I suppose! Anyway, lots has happened over the last month or so. My main piece of news is that I have signed up to do a creative writing course with the literary agent, Curtis Brown.

Flowers and books: two of my favourite things!
I a hit a blip with my novel-in-progress back in January and decided that I needed help (or possibly a new job). Assistance came in the form of an email advertising a six-month online course. I decided this was make-or-break for my writing career (like to raise the stakes for myself) and applied for a place.

Luckily for me and my fragile ego, I managed to win one of 15 spots on the course to study with tutor and novelist Suzannah Dunn. Each week, we take turns to submit 3000 words of our work so that the rest of the group can offer a critique. It's not for the faint-hearted! All of my fellow students are very competent writers so I have been receiving some tough but useful feedback.

The flaws in my novel-in-progress, aka N.I.P., became painfully evident early on and I could see that I had my work cut out whipping this one into shape. But, before I went off into a corner to weep, I happened to get invited to the meeting of a local book club, which had elected to read novel number two, The Puppet Master, on Kindle.

Table talk

I attended the book club last night, which included a tasty supper and the opportunity to meet a circle of intelligent, book-loving ladies. It was such a thrill to sit at the table and listen to them all seriously discussing my book and the characters that lived within it. Someone even said that my book had frightened her! 

This is my sixth book club and meeting these groups is always a salient reminder that my novels are read and enjoyed beyond my immediate friends and family ;-) Slightly embarrassingly, I forgot the name of one of my main characters last night, but we managed to gloss over that. (I am so obsessed with my new book that the world of The Puppet Master has receded into the dusty corners of my brain.)

As we prepared to head off home after a memorable evening of wine and chat, the ladies presented me with a beautiful bouquet of hydrangeas. Does life get any better? A new audience of appreciative readers and flowers to boot. All in all, it was a great confidence boost and I'm hoping that these positive vibes will feed into my attempts to reconstruct the dreaded N.I.P., the most problematic of my books so far.

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