Somewhere deep inside the Wetherspoons, J. detailed the myriad shortcomings of something I have wrought. He provided the same sterling service for my very first piece of professionally published fiction, and I’m really very grateful.
Again, he leaves me feeling savaged yet unable to disagree:
- What I’ve writ needs to be more visually arresting, with more stuff never seen before
- The direction needs to be more concise and yet a whole lot more engaging
- The dialogue needs to be simpler and more as real people speak – no “twat monkey”, “jobby” or “bumways”
- What a person says also needs to show exactly how they think
- Mysteries are all very lovely, but it can’t just not give any answers – that makes it all a bit too jumpy, like we’re missing the key scenes
- Lucy’s solution is rather inelegant and more effort than it’s worth, and we should see her being smarter in how she gets just what she wants
- Richard needs a pal in whom he can confide (i.e. on how he’s coping with the plot)
- If we don’t like him – and we really don’t in that bit on page 52 – the whole thing’s a bit of a turn-off
- And the ending just isn’t strong enough – it needs to really raise the stakes
The 75 back home was filled with notes for fixes. I remind myself that what does not kill can only make me stronger. And that Real Writers Re-Write. Hum ho.
J’s also poked me in the direction of what already prove to be two very good writing blogs: Jane Espenson (from Buffy) and Ken Levine (off of Frasier).