So What did I Learn?

… from the manuscript assessment, that is.

Having your work criticized is daunting. As a whole, I don’t take criticism well. I suppose not many people can handle being told you’re doing something wrong, but somehow it truly gets my back up.

But I needed to buckle up and tackle the task of revising my baby— after all, I paid good money for it! Continue reading “So What did I Learn?”

… and … Feedback!

The author can rightly be proud of herself for creating a novel with such a complex and ambitious plot. It takes enormous discipline and courage to write a romantic saga of 144 000 words. It is clear that she knows the genre well and understand the basic elements needed to engage readers from beginning to end. There are however various aspects of the text that can be improved. The rest of this report will be used to point them out and make suggestions on how to address these problems, so the author can strengthen her novel and refine her craft.”

It took me a few days to fully digest the 10-page report I received. Continue reading “… and … Feedback!”

Chasing a Dream

It started in high school—I’d open a blank A5 exercise book and write words down.

There weren’t many words. If I was lucky, I’d fill 10 pages, maybe 20. Then I’d read my dreadful ramblings, shake my head at my fanciful imagination, and tear the pages out. I’d repeat the process a while later with the beginnings of yet another story.

Eventually I lay that dream aside.

Continue reading “Chasing a Dream”

Choosing a Setting

One of the important aspects of writing would be the setting—the time and place that form the backdrop of the story.

Logic says . . . write about what you know.

But I had a problem with that—the story developing in my mind would not suit a South African setting. I wanted a small town, cattle ranch community and the current political climate does not lend itself to happy ever afters.

I chose Texas.

Continue reading “Choosing a Setting”

The Hook of a Series

I have always been a fan of Nora Roberts, but recently started on her pseudonym, J. D. Robb’s, ‘In Death’ series.

And I am hooked.

At the time of writing this post, there are 46 books—not taking into account the novellas strewn throughout—in this successful series. I haven’t read all 46 books—yet!!—and unfortunately, I have read them out of sequence.

But I kept thinking—what hooks one? There has to be something to not tire a reader of the core group of characters. Continue reading “The Hook of a Series”