objectivity and art
Category : Art
This past few days I’ve been reading over a first draft I wrote last year. My expectations of first drafts are low, and while I’m often pleasantly surprised, a first draft usually needs a major overhaul, serious surgery, more than cosmetic…
But I loved it! Lapped it up. Have started reading it over again. Trouble is, I’m not sure I’m objective enough to see what needs doing. There are a handful of things I’m aware need fixing. The first chapter is a bit confusing – too many characters introduced in quick succession, a lot of dialogue without much description (which is something I like, but I suspect I’ve taken too far), and historical inaccuracies (probably, though I’m not sure what exactly or it wouldn’t be such a problem…)
Objective eyes are the thing, but mine don’t work very well. Can’t reach the on-switch. Readers who happily give lots of rigorous feedback ON A WHOLE NOVEL are few and far between.
A friend and I kicked off a writer’s group this week, a new venture, a COMMITTED group. There are stacks of writers groups going in Paris, for writers who work in English, but we wanted a more consistent group, and perhaps a closer group. We get together again in a couple of weeks and will start sharing work (via email) in the mean time.
One of the challenges is to find readers of the genre. I wrote a play a while ago, partly because my tendency to write page upon page of dialogue led to someone at writer’s group asking if I’d ever considered scriptwriting. I’ve been doing a side-project, designing potential book covers for all my writing projects on the go, or otherwise, and made a few covers for this play.
A few friends in the theatre world saw the covers (and read the blurb, I’m guessing) and asked to read it. Hurrah!
So, I suppose this is my readers request:
I have two near finished novels and would love serious feedback from people who enjoy these genres:
– One contemporary romance about a baker and a professional rugby player. Saucy stuff, and 55 thousand words of it (which is pretty short for a novel, think Mills&Boon length). I think (hope!) this is pretty close to finished now, so I’m a bit impatient. Hope to send it out in September… ie. need feedback soon.
– One historical romance. Just under 60 thousand words. I think it’s fab (but it’s possible I’m delusional). No great hurry and I’ll finish another read-through/tweak before I send it to you because I’m neurotic about first drafts.
Of course, it’s possible I’m just getting better at this writing schtick. This was the most recent first draft I wrote, my fifth. I did plan it carefully. Maybe all that paid off.