Friday, 23 August 2013


Yesterday I received my script back from the RNA's New Writer's Scheme.
It's always a tense moment when you fight through the tape on the jiffy bag, slide out your work and begin to read the reviewer's comments.
But as I began to read, I felt myself crumple with disapointment.  My book, it appears, needs to be completely re-written.  There's not enough plot and the characters' motivation and actions aren't right either.
OK, I know that its only one person's opinion, but you do have to respect the fact that the person who is reviewing your effort, is a lot more experienced than you are.  And on reflection he/she is probably right, in most respects anyway.
My reviewer did suggest some ways to improve my novel and said that my writing style was good, and if they didn't think I could do it, they wouldn't have made the suggestions, so at least there was something positive about the report.
She then advised for me to go away, have a glass of wine and in a while, start to think about a re-write.  As it was 11 o'clock in the morning, I thought it was a tad too early, even for me, to start on the wine, so I went to the post office and bought myself a Magnum instead. Ice cream is a good substitute.
Its so disapointing, after having spent most of this year working on my novel, to learn that I need to start again.  But that's the nature of writing I suppose, its not about the wriitng, its about the re-writing.  One thing I do know for sure, is that I need to kick start my job search again.   Not just for the money - although this is a major influencing factor -  but also because I need some kind of focus where I feel as though I'm achieiving something.  Then my writing can become my hobby again, and I can take my time and enjoy it more. 
And I will rewrite the novel.  Just not yet.  In between short stories, I'm going to have another go at last year's NWS script, because that doesn't need quite so much work done on it, and I have a bit  more distance from it, so hopefully will be able to see things more clearly.
My conclusion from all this is that when you fall from the horse you have to get straight back on it.  This writing lark takes guts doesn't it?
Have a good weekend everyone. 


  1. It takes guts and the skin of a rhino, but it sounds to me like your attitude to the report is spot-on, and focusing on the postives is the way to go. Your reviewer clearly thought you showed promise, so don't give up! It's so true that all writing is re-writing... and re-writing :o)

  2. I'm going through the same. I've been told by a publisher. I have talent as a writer and my novel is intriguing, but they don't think I have enough writing skills to carry my novel off. How depressing is that.
    I think we are both in the same boat Wannabe. We need to improve our skills maybe look at our novel from a new angle. I'm rewriting mine in the first and third person instead of just the third person. This will be the third time I've rewritten my novel, but as they say it will be worth it in the end! I hope:-)

  3. Sorry to hear the feedback was disappointing. I cried when Darley Anderson said 'Heaven Can Wait' was ponderous (ie BORING!) in parts but I took his advice and rewrote it and you know what happened then. Have wine, have chocolate, sulk for a bit then get started with the rewrite. You never know what will happen when you've finished. X

  4. I so feel for you, Linda. We've all been there. Re-writing a book feels like such a monumental task, especially since you thought it was already pretty good, or you wouldn't have submitted it in the first place.
    It is, as you say, only one person's opinion. Feedback like this can be invaluable, though, so long as you don't lose your confidence in the process.
    I would set the whole project aside for a while and then come at it with fresh eyes. Good luck with it. Rx

  5. What stuck out for me when I read this was the positive comments your reviewer made. It is daunting to have to rewrite, but you can do it and you will know when the time is right to start :-) x

  6. I bet soon you'll be itching to get your teeth into it again, Linda.

  7. Hi, Thank you all for taking the time to encourage me. It's lovely being part of a writing community because you are all so positive and kind. I will continue writing, but perhaps not this novel for a while so that I can come back to it with a fresh perspective.

    Karen, yes my skin has toughened recently, good job too.

    Paula, take heart, you've been told you have talent - the rest can be learnt.

    Cally, thanks for taking the time to comment. It's much appreciated as I have loved both your novels.

    Rena, Teresa & Wendy, your encouragement alway spurs me on. Thanks ever so.